Japanese Tuna sells for record Rs 3.88 Cr

A Japanese restaurateur paid a whopping R3.88 cr -- a price almost double of last year's record sale

This tuna is worth savoring: It cost nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.

The bluefin tuna caught off northeastern Japan fetched a record 56.49 million yen (Rs 3.88 crore), yesterday in the first auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market.

Big catch: Kiyoshi Kimura, who runs the Sushi-Zanmai sushi restaurant
chain, poses with the 269-kg bluefin tuna, which he plans to sell to the
locals in order to lift their spirits. pic/afp

The price for the 269-kilogram tuna beat last year's record of 32.49m yen (Rs 2.22 crore).

The first auction of the year is traditionally a time for exorbitant bids on the choicest tuna, but the owner of the Japanese sushi chain said he was determined to outbid foreign buyers who had beaten him in recent years.

Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co, which operates the Sushi Zanmai restaurants, said the fish would be a gift to the Japanese people for all the hardships they had endured in 2011, not least the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster, as well as the general economic malaise that is affecting the country.

"Rather than having it taken away overseas, my wish is for Japanese people to be able to enjoy good tuna together," Kimura told reporters after landing his record catch.

"Despite the March 11 earthquake and the sluggish economy, I want to lift up Japan's spirits and urge people to work hard together," he said.

The purchase also sets a new record of Y210,000 (Rs 1.45 lakh) per kilogram, although the 46 Sushi Zanmai restaurants across Tokyo will not be bumping up the price when it is served to consumers, the company has promised.

The approximately 10,000 slices of sushi will be served at regular prices, ranging from Y135 (Rs 93) to Y418 (Rs 300) for a cut of the best fatty "otoro" sushi.

Kimura fought off strong bids from restaurant operators in Hong Kong who have snapped up the best fish landed at Tsukiji for the past four years.

269 kg
The weight of the bluefin tuna that was cut into approximately 10,000 slices

Rs 1.45 l

Cost of one-kilogram of sushi

342 kg
The weight of the record breaking sushi last year

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