Japan ‘Tuna King’ buys new year catch for US$1.8m

Kiyoshi Kimura displays a 276kg bluefin tuna that fetched ¥193.2 million at his main restaurant in Tokyo January 5, 2020 after the New Year’s auction at Toyosu fish market. — AFP pic
Kiyoshi Kimura displays a 276kg bluefin tuna that fetched ¥193.2 million at his main restaurant in Tokyo January 5, 2020 after the New Year’s auction at Toyosu fish market. — AFP pic

TOKYO, Jan 5 — A celebrated Japanese sushi businessman, nicknamed “Tuna King”, paid US$1.8 million (RM7.38 million) for a giant tuna at New Year’s auction at Tokyo’s main fish market today.

Kiyoshi Kimura, who runs a successful sushi restaurant chain, paid ¥193 million to purchase a 276kg bluefin tuna, caught off the Aomori region in northern Japan.

“This is the best,” Kimura told reporters after the pre-dawn auction.

“Yes, this is expensive, isn’t it? I want our customers to eat very tasty ones this year too,” he said.

Media-savvy Kimura regularly pays top price at the first auction of the year at the Japanese capital’s main fish market, making himself and his business a fixture in national news during this season.

In last year’s new year auction, Kimura paid a record US$3.1 million to win a 278kg tuna.

The traditional auction is now being held in a new market in an area called Toyosu.

The world-famous Tsukiji market, which had long served as a popular tourist attraction in an area packed with restaurants and shops, closed in 2018. — AFP

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