JAPAN, Tokyo. For the first time, Japan’s agricultural exports exceed JPY 1 trillion (EUR 7.7 billion), according to Japan’s Finance Ministry. The main contributors were drastic increases in shipments of beef and sake.
The Japanese government had initially set the one-trillion goal for 2020, but shipments had slowed down as a reaction to the pandemic. As Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno announced at the end of 2021, the export value between January and November 2021 totaled JPY 1.06 trillion. The value of exports in 2020 reached JPY 986 trillion.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the ongoing pandemic led to solid online sales in 2021. Furthermore, exports of beef to the United States, which by October had made an 89.7% year-on-year jump, and shipments of sake to China with an increase of 81.1% contributed to exceeding the set target of 1 trillion in the past year.
For 2022, further growth is expected because of a new Asia-Pacific free trade agreement, which entered into force on 1 January. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) consists of 15 East Asian and Pacific nations, including China, Japan, and South Korea. It is the largest trade agreement in the world measured by the GDP of its member states.
Though exports are steadily growing, there are still 14 countries with food restrictions following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. A lift could further boost Japan’s food exports.
Source: EFA News / The Japan Times