Tokyo Wholesalers to Sell Tohoku Fish to Public

Jiji Press
A flounder from Fukushima Prefecture is seen at the Toyosu seafood market in Koto Ward, Tokyo.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A group of intermediate wholesalers at Tokyo’s Toyosu seafood market plans to sell seafood from the three Tohoku prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima to the general public.

The group of around 460 intermediate wholesalers will open a store at the market in July through February next year to sell such products in an effort to support areas affected by the March 2011 massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

Intermediate wholesalers who supply fish mainly to high-end sushi restaurants are known for their keen sense to differentiate product quality.

At the Toyosu market, members of the public are denied access to areas that handle seafood sold to restaurants. The wholesalers’ group will set up the store in a shopping area that is opened to the public.

Fish caught off the Pacific coast of a region that includes the three prefectures, known as Sanriku Joban seafood, are “one of established brands for their high quality,” a veteran intermediate wholesaler said.

The promotional campaign comes as fish catches off the coast of Fukushima continue to struggle amid deeply rooted reputational damage from the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The plant plans to release treated water into the sea in coming months. Yutaka Hayama, head of the wholesalers’ group, said intermediate wholesalers are not affected by unfounded rumors about food safety.