TOKYO, Aug. 5 ― Some of Japanese food exports in the first six months of 2018 broke the previous record set last year, as the popularity of Japanese dish, or washoku, has hit new heights around the globe in recent years.
Shipments of Japanese beef, for example, jumped 37% to 10.8 billion yen in the first half from the same period a year earlier, data from the finance ministry showed. Both figures are the highest since the ministry started recording in 1988.
This is partly because Taiwan has emerged as the top destination for the Japanese beef, after the Asian neighboring country lifted a 16-year ban on beef imports from Japan last September.
Beef shipments to Taiwan totaled 2.2 billion yen, accounting for about 20 percent of the total Japanese beef exports.
Japanese sake also surged 22% to 10.5 billion yen during the same period. The shipments to the U.S. totaled 3.1 billion yen. That was followed by China at 1.8billion yen and Hong Kong at 1.7 billion yen.
Green tea rose 2% to 6.9 billion yen. Top destination for green tea was the U.S., followed by Germany.
Japan has set a target of 1 trillion yen in agricultural exports in 2019. Last year, the country’s agriculture exports totaled a record 807.1 billion yen, but at a slower pace than the government had hoped for.