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Function and History

Function of the Central Wholesale Market

  • Collection: A wide variety of produce in vast quantity from all over the country and from abroad is gathered.
  • Fair pricing: Price are determined by auction as a basic rule, which means the price will be reasonably determined as the highest bid price will be the price of the goods, reflecting the day's supply and demand of the goods.
  • Distribution: Produce gathered is divided into smaller quantities and sizes and sold to a number of stock purchasers.
  • Sound settlement of accounts: Payment of charges is made quickly and properly under a fixed rule.
  • Reduction in distributing costs: By buying and selling goods in large quantity at one place, transportation and other costs incurred in distribution can be reduced.
  • Providing information: Prompt information on what and how much farm produce and marine catch are delivered in the market, as well as on the wholesale prices on the day is valuable, avoiding confusion.
  • Hygiene inspection: Hygiene checks on the goods are conducted by the Sanitation Inspection Station, and also guidance are given to the dealers to adhere sanitation standard, as required. We are making efforts in maintaining that foods are checked in reliable conditions, and also in keeping the market facilities clean and sanitary.

People who work in the market



The wholesalers sell by auction the goods that the producers have consigned to them. Their commission is fixed by municipal ordinance at 5.5 percent of the wholesale price for seafood, 8.5 percent for vegetables, 7.0 percent for fruit, 3.5 percent for meat, 9.5 percent for flowers and so forth. The wholesaler in the market must get per mission from the Minister of Agriculture, Foresty and Fisherrise.

Intermediate wholesalers

Intermediate wholesalers sell goods purchased form the wholesalers at their own shops to buyers including stock purchasers, who come to the market. To do business as intermediate wholesalers, he must get permission from the Establishment authority.

Authorized buyers

The retailers and supermarket agents, who usually buy goods from the intermediate wholesalers in the market, may purchase directly from the wholesalers at auction as the same as intermediate wholesalers, if they get approval from the Establishment authority.

Traders of market-related goods.

There are traders to sell market-related goods such as knives, boots, and packing materials, and also, restaurant and transport agents are housed in the market.
Such businesses are permitted by the Establishment authority.

Establishment authority

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has established 11 Central Wholesale Markets, in order to assure the fresh foods transported to the market are delivered to the consumers in safety, at reasonable price, and promptly. The government administers the construction of markets, maintenance and management of the facilities, giving directions and supervising the handling, according to the Wholesale Market Law and Ordinances.

History of the Wholesale Market in Tokyo

The very beginning of a Tokyo Market dates back to the days of Tokugawa Ieyasu when heopened Edo government; he brought in the fishermen from Tsukuda, Osaka City to Edo to let them purvey seafood's to Edo castle, and at the same time gave them permission to sell the remains near the Nihonbashi bridge. The vegetable and fruit markets also developed spontaneously around the same period. After the Meiji Restoration. These markets dwindled under drastic social changes, and under the new Tokyo City Government, private markets were permitted to open, which contributed to the stable supply of daily food necessary for the residents.

However, through the experiences of Rice Riots attributable to rice shortage in social unrest in 1918, the "Central Wholesale Market Law" was enacted in March 1923, which became the governing law for the opening of the public markets nationwide. While the construction plan of the Central Wholesale Markets in Tokyo was under consideration, the Great Kanto Earthquake occurred in September of the same year, and the private markets then operating suffered devastating damages. The implementation of the construction plan was accelerated, and three Central Wholesale Markets Tsukiji, Kanda and Koto were established in 1935, and then Ebara, Toshima, Adachi, and Shokuniku market were opened one by one in succession.

After WWII. The great changes in environment surrounding the markets with the high growth of the Japanese economy, and concentration of urban population in Tokyo in the late 1960s and 70s, resulted the revision of the Law into the current Wholesale Market Law, in April 1971. Under this new law, Tokyo Metropolitan Government opened markets, Itabashi, Setagaya, Kita-Adachi, Tama New Town, Kasai, Ohta. For opening of Flower markets, the flower market section was opened in 1988 at Kita-Adachi market for the first time, and then opened in Ohta, Itabashi, Kasai, Setagaya Markets.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government will move forward the market administration policy from the point of view of the citizens as consumers with an aim to realize comfortable Metropolitan life.

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