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Someone Actually Paid $3.1 Million for Tuna

By Angie Teo

An owner of a Japanese sushi restaurant chain set a record by paying more than $3 million for a bluefin tuna in the year’s first auction at Tokyo’s new fish market, exceeding his own record price of 2013.

Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns the Sushizanmai chain, paid 333.6 million yen ($3.1 million) for the 278-kg (613-lb) fish caught off the coast of northern Japan’s Aomori prefecture, or double what he had paid six years ago.

“The tuna looks so tasty and very fresh, but I think I did too much,” Kimura told reporters outside the market later.

Sushizanmai Sapporo.

“I expected it would be between 30 million and 50 million yen, or 60 million yen at the highest, but it ended up five times more.”

The event was the first New Year auction of the Toyosu market, after the famed Tsukiji fish market shut last year to provide temporary parking for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

Kiyoshi Kimura (R) displays a 278kg bluefin tuna at his main restaurant in Tokyo. Photo courtesy of Kazuhiro Nogi AFP.

Kimura had held the record for top price paid for a single fish at the new year’s auction for six straight years until 2017. But last year, the owner of a different fish restaurant chain paid the highest price.

After the auction, the fish was taken to one of Sushizanmai’s branches located in the old market of Tsukiji.

Private tuna auction and Toyosu market tour.

Tuna is prized around the world for its use in sushi, but experts warn growing demand has made it an endangered species.

The original article was first published in Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.

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