Tokyo, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s food exports in 2021 are expected to total around 1.2 trillion yen, pushed up by robust demand from China and the United States, which are experiencing economic recovery from the novel coronavirus pandemic, informed sources said Monday.
In January-November, Japan’s exports of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products as well as food items jumped 26.8 pct from a year before to 1,077.9 billion yen, with the annual total topping 1 trillion yen for the first time ever.
The government has set a target of increasing such exports to 2 trillion yen in 2025 and 5 trillion yen in 2030, planning to help producers of related products to boost output further.
In the 11-month period, exports of agricultural products totaled 721.1 billion yen and those of fisheries products 268.6 billion yen, the sources said the same day.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will release details, such as breakdowns by item, on Tuesday.
China’s import tariffs on Japanese sake and scallops will be abolished in stages under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade agreement among Asian and Oceanian countries that will take effect on Jan. 1 next year.
In line with the effectuation of the trade deal, the Japanese government will provide extensive support to producers working to increase output for items meeting the needs of consumers in RCEP member countries, the sources said.
The removal of import restrictions by countries will also be a key to promoting exports.
In September this year, the United States lifted its import restrictions on agricultural, forestry and fisheries products as well as food items from areas thought to have been affected by the March 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
As a result, the number of countries and regions imposing import restrictions due to the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant fell to 14 from 55 soon after the disaster.
The government plans to keep urging China and South Korea to lift their import restrictions, the sources said.
In January-November, Japan’s whisky exports surged 77.8 pct to 43.2 billion yen, while its beef exports jumped 87.7 pct to 47.2 billion yen. The country’s exports of scallops, sake and apples were also strong.
By destination country, Japan’s food exports grew 38.5 pct to 202.4 billion yen to mainland China and 40.7 pct to 150.7 billion yen to the United States.