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Thursday, 5th January 2012
In General Japan News,

Japanese sushi restaurant breaks record with 470,000 tuna

A sushi restaurant in Tokyo has smashed the world record for the highest price paid for a bluefin tuna fish.

The record-breaking tuna weighed a staggering 269kg and sold for some 56 million yen (£470,000).

The fish was sold at the first auction of the year at a famous fish market in the Japanese capital and set another record for the highest price per weight, selling for around 210,000 yen (£1,760) per kilo

Having been caught off the coast of Oma in the Aomori prefecture in the north of the country, the fish was bough by Kiyoshi Kimura who owns a chain of sushi restaurants.

The auction is part of Japan's New Year's celebrations and record sales are often set.

An even bigger bluefin tuna was caught last year and weighing in at 342 kg set the previous record when it sold for 32 million yen (£268,000), the BBC reported.

However, Mr Kimura looks set to make a large loss on his purchase, with Bloomberg estimating the fish will cost his sushi company in excess of £380,000.

Pieces of the tuna will be sold be the restaurant for around $5 (£3.20) yet they cost around $74 (£47.80).

But the upmarket sushi chain appears unfazed by the prospect.

"It is not just about the money, as there will be positive ripple effects from buying the fish," Hiroshi Umehara, a spokesman for the chain told the news provider.

"It is also about the Japanese spirit."

In each of the last three years the Kiyomura K.K chain has been outbid by foreign companies and this year they were determined to go home with the catch of the day.

"We really wanted to provide good tuna to the locals after losing to overseas rivals in the past three years," Mr Umehara told Bloomberg.

"We don't think this is a proper price."

Written by Susan Ballion