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Japan: Amusement park with skating rink containing 5,000 dead fish forced to shut down

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:45 IST

An amusement park, Space World, in Japan has been forced to close down after it received bitter criticism for freezing 5,000 dead fish into the ice as an attraction for visitors.

The company, which owns the amusement park, has said that de-freezing would take about a week and subsquently will hold a memorial service for the school of fish.

According to media reports, the rink in southwestern Japan opened on 12 November had 5,000 frozen fish under the surface of the ice as a decorative effect while customers skated above.

Space World spokesman Koji Shibata said that concept was slammed as unethical and the rink in the city of Kitakyushu was forced to close on Sunday, a leading daily reported.

An international news agency quoted Shibata as saying, "We received critical voices saying it is not good to use creatures as a toy, and that it is bad to let food go to waste."

The park into light when a visitor uploaded a picture the park's Facebook page writing: "An event on an ice rink with frozen fish... How sinful."

"This is not personal but a social issue. They made food into a toy where children go and play," said another.

Facebook/James Whitlow Delano

Supporting the usage of fish as an decorative effect, Shibata said that the fish were all already dead at the time of purchase and were considered unfit to be sold in markets.

"Internally we'd had discussions over the morality of the idea" before the display was set up, he said.

Toshimi Takeda, general manager of Space World, said the intention was for customers to have fun while also learning about fish.

"We wanted customers to experience the feeling of skating on the sea, but after receiving criticism, we decided that we could not operate it any more", a leading daily quoted Takeda as saying.

"We are planning to hold a memorial service for the fish inviting a Shinto priest, which we'd planned before getting criticised."

First published: 28 November 2016, 2:56 IST