First tuna auction of new era and new year held

Tuna King

"This is the second highest price paid for a single tuna in Japan since the authorities began to set records in 1999".

Kiyoshi Kimura, the self-proclaimed "sushi king", spent big money on a massive bluefin tuna at Tokyo's Toyosu fish market on Sunday, with a bid of 193 million Japanese yen, almost $1.8 million, according to Kyodo News.

On Sunday, he bought a 276kg (608-pound) bluefin tuna, caught off the Aomori region in northern Japan, to please his customers.

"This is the best", Kimura told reporters after the pre-dawn auction. "Yes, this is expensive, isn't it?"

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President of the chain Kiyoshi Kimura said it was expensive but he is glad to get it because it is the first new year auction in the new era, Reiwa.

In last year's new year auction, Kimura paid a record US$3.1 million to win a 278kg tuna.

The traditional New Year auction is now held at Tokyo's famous Toyosu fish market after the iconic Tsukiji fish market, a popular tourist attraction, was closed and relocated to the area of Toyosu in 2018.

Bluefin, the largest tuna, are an endangered species and can live up to 40 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

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