Article courtesy of blogs.wsj.com | By: Jun Hongo | Please click here for original article.
Above: The president of sushi restaurant chain Sushi-Zanmai displays a 180kg bluefin tuna at his main restaurant near Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market. The bluefin tuna was traded at 4.5 million yen ($37,500) at the wholesale market on the first trading day of the new year. Image courtesy of Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A sushi restaurant chain owner paid ¥4.51 million ($37,500) for a 180 kilogram Bluefin tuna at the first auction of the year in Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market.
Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., has won the year’s first bid for four consecutive years since 2012. He told reporters Monday after his purchase that it was cheaper than he had expected thanks to a successful haul of tuna near the Tsugaru strait this year.
While $37,500 may seem too much to pay for a fish, it is a bargain compared to what Mr. Kimura had to spend in 2013.
In January 2012, Mr. Kimura won the bid at the first tuna auction of the year for $736,700. He then paid $1.76 million for a 222 kilogram tuna in January 2013, which remains an all-time record.
Prices for tuna tend to get inflated at the year’s first auction. Mr. Kimura had been in a fierce bidding war with a restaurant chain owner in Hong Kong prior to his success in recent years.
Tsukiji market is commemorating its 80th anniversary this year since opening in February 1935. It is scheduled to relocate to the Toyosu area in Tokyo in November 2016.