Japan loves the ocean (it’s surrounded by it, so it’s almost a survival instinct), and a favorite Japanese pastime is going to one of Japan’s many aquariums. Major Tokyo attractions, such as Skytree and Tokyo Tower, have aquariums housed within their buildings. But Sankei Business Journal reports that Tokyo Tower’s aquarium is on the verge of shutting down. Nihon Denpatou, the formal name for the company that runs Tokyo Tower, has taken its resident aquarium to court over failure to pay rent.

By contract, the Aquarium pays ¥3,700,000 (roughly $37,000) per month in rent. The Aquarium reportedly hasn’t paid rent since November 2017, and is now in arrears by about ¥21,000,000 (roughly $200,000). In March, Nihon Denpatou sent the museum a formal warning to pay arrears or face the termination of its rental contract. When the payment didn’t come, Denpatou kept its word, killed the contract, and told the Aquarium to scram.

First oral arguments were heard in court last month, during which the Aquarium argued that Denpatou rejected its plan to spread out the missing five months of payments over the next year. The Aquarium is also arguing that it will take time as well as money to restore the space to its original state, and that the earliest they can clear out is by September.

A spokesperson for Nihon Denpatou at first declined to comment, but then added, “If they’d just pay their rent…”

In Japan, summer vacation typically doesn’t start in most areas until the third or fourth week of July. Given the current movement of the tides, it looks like Tokyo kids may have one less aquarium to visit this summer.

(JP) Link: It’s Almost Summer Break, But…Family Troubles for Tokyo Tower? The Pinch Caused by Missed Rent Payments!

Tokyo Tower Aquarium Story