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UPDATE1: Tuna sells for record 56.49 mil. yen at Tsukiji market.

TOKYO, Jan. 5 Kyodo

(EDS: ADDING INFO)

A 269-kilogram bluefin tuna was sold for a record 56.49 million yen, or 210,000 yen per kg, at the first auction of the year at the Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market in Tokyo's Tsukiji area on Thursday.

The price of the tuna from Oma, Aomori Prefecture, exceeded the previous record of 32.49 million yen, or 95,000 yen per kg, paid for a tuna from Toi, Hokkaido, last year.

This year's successful bidder was Kiyomura Co., a Tokyo-based sushi restaurant-chain operator. Its chief, Kiyoshi Kimura, 59, said, ''I want to liven up Japan, given that the country has been hit by the March disaster and economic stagnation.''

Customers can eat a piece of sushi topped with a slice of the tuna at the usual prices of between 134 yen and 418 yen, he said.

The Oma Fisheries Cooperative, which for the year's first auction usually offers tuna caught at the end of the previous year, this year sold tuna caught since the New Year to enhance the freshness of the product.

According to the Fisheries Agency, the supply of bluefin tuna is decreasing amid tighter international regulations on hauls of the tune which is facing depletion. Tuna prices at the Tsukiji maket have been on the rise.
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jan 9, 2012
Words:216
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