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Japan seeks to boost its rice exports

Posted by pakin On March - 17 - 2015

Singapore: A Japanese rice export association launched an initiative Monday to boost exports to Singapore, taking advantage of the wealthy city-state’s appetite for Japanese cuisine.

The scheme, entitled “This is Japan Quality,” has been developed by the Japan Rice and Rice Industry Export Promotion Association in partnership with Japan’s Agriculture Ministry to expand Japanese culinary culture by highlighting the merits of Japanese rice.

“It aims to ultimately increase the amount of rice and rice products exported globally by first focusing on Singapore,” said the association’s chairman, Ryo Kimura.

In particular it aims to use Singapore as a “strategic springboard” to spread Japanese culinary culture in Southeast Asia and fuel interest in Japanese rice products.

The ministry estimates that Japan exported more than 1,200 tonnes of rice valued at more than 370 million yen ($3 million) to the tiny city state last year — about 10 times the amount exported to China.

The association has designed a new logo for Japanese rice products and a website with information about Japanese rice. The rice will have “QR” codes on the packaging that will enable buyers to have easy access to the website.

Akira Karasawa, director general for crop production at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said in his speech at the launch event that the Japanese government was trying to promote the export of agriculture and fishery products globally.

However, Japan’s global export value ofrice was still small at only 1.4 billion yen last year. The Japanese government has set the goal of raising the export value of rice and rice products to 60 billion yen by 2020, Karasawa said.

He added that one of the reasons for launching the initiative in Singapore was due to the nation’s high income level.

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