‘Japanese tuna king’ is disappointed when the world’s largest fish market is relocated

'Japanese tuna king' is disappointed when the world's largest fish market is relocated 0

The Japanese tuna king and the 230 kg tuna won in the first auction of the year on January 5, 2014.

According to AFP, everywhere in Japan you can see billboards advertising Kimura’s sushi restaurant chain with a bright smile on their faces.

However, the self-proclaimed `tuna king` is not very enthusiastic about the plan to move the famous Tsukiji fish market, which sells 1,800 tons of fish and seafood every day in Tokyo.

On Lunar New Year 2013 he set a world record when he spent 1.8 million USD in a bluefin tuna auction.

The market relocation activity is expected to take place this coming November.

`It’s sad that Tsukiji market is about to be relocated,` the 63-year-old man said.

Mr. Kimura has called off plans to build an entertainment complex at the new site, which would have featured a 1,000-seat food court, about 140 restaurants and retail stores and Tokyo’s largest hot spring.

The fish trader with four decades of experience left open the possibility of building one of his Sushizanmai restaurants at the new market planned to be built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay.

`It’s still unclear how the new market will be built,` he commented about the new location.

Expensive price

For Mr. Kimura, there are few things more enjoyable than preparing sushi, especially purple tuna pieces placed on rice balls.

He is also willing to pay more than usual to buy the first fish of the year.

`I probably won’t make a profit on that tuna,` he commented about the recent auction.

'Japanese tuna king' is disappointed when the world's largest fish market is relocated

Panorama of Tsukiji fish market.

Bluefin is often the most expensive fish at Tsukiji market, and just a piece of fish’s underbelly fat can cost up to several thousand yen in Tokyo’s high-end restaurants.

Mr. Kimura also dismissed the idea that the astonishing prices he fetched at auctions, including a record figure in 2013 stemming from fierce competition with Hong Kong restaurant chains, were just a

`My business motto is to serve customers delicious, high-quality food,` he said.

In fact, he believes that spending money to buy tuna will help stabilize prices and protect this species.

Environmentalists warn that bluefin tuna are at risk of extinction.

In 2014, sushi master Jiro Ono said that indiscriminate fishing was an alarm bell for the industry.

However, Mr. Kimura believes that tuna is still a unique fish in the sushi world.

`Reserves of mackerel and mackerel are sometimes depleted but are always abundant again,` he confidently affirmed.

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