TOKYO – A bluefin tuna has sold for 193 million yen ($1.8 million) at the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market – the second-highest price ever paid.
The tuna, weighing 276 kilos and captured by a boat operating in the port of Oma in the northeast of the archipelago, comes in at 700,000 yen ($6,500) per kilo.
Kiyoshi Kiyomura, the owner of the popular restaurant chain Sushi Zanmai that is headquartered in the Japanese capital, was the one who splashed out on the fish on Sunday.
“I’m even more happy as this was the first auction in Reiwa,” said Kiyomura, as cited by Kyodo news agency, in reference to the new imperial era that the country entered in May last year with Emperor Naruhito’s arrival to the throne.
Kiyomura has been the highest bidder in eight of the first nine auctions of the year that have been held since 2011.
He holds the record for forking out the most ever on a tuna – 333.6 million yen ($3.1 million), which he paid at the 2019 edition of the New Year auction.
The tuna he managed to acquire Sunday will be served at his restaurant in Tsukiji, where the fish market was formerly located, according to the company.