(Sankei: August 11, 2015 – p. 2)
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced on Aug. 10 that the export of Japanese agricultural, fishery and food products hit a record high for the first six months (from January to June) in 2015. According to the ministry, these exports increased by 24.9% to 354.7 billion yen, the highest figure since records started being kept in 2005, thanks to a Japanese food boom worldwide and an increase in demand for fresh food mainly in Asia.
The government has set its yearly goal of boosting exports to 700 billion yen in 2016 and 1 trillion yen in 2020. Japan’s export of food totaled 611.7 billion yen in 2014. Since there is a tendency for exports to surge in the second half of the year, the government may achieve in 2015 the target of 700 billion yen in farm and seafood exports.
In the breakdown of the January-June period, farm products increased by 22.1% to 202.5 billion yen; sea food, by 28.8% to 139.7 billion yen; and forestry products, by 28.8% to 12.6 billion yen.
Hong Kong was the largest destination for Japan’s exports. About 25% of Japan’s food exports went to Hong Kong, followed by the United States, Taiwan, China and South Korea. By item, the export of apples rose by 74.7% to 5.3 billion yen.