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Japan eyes 10-fold expansion in food exports under growth strategy


Japan aims to expand its exports of farm and marine products by 10-fold to 5 trillion yen a year by 2030, a draft of the government's growth strategy showed Saturday.

The strategy to be unveiled later this month will seek concerted efforts around the country to promote those exports collectively as "Japan Brand," according to the draft, a copy of which was obtained by Kyodo News.

The government earlier set a goal of doubling those exports from the present level to 1 trillion yen by 2020.

In a related move, the three northeastern Japanese prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, which were devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, plan to cooperate with each other in promoting exports of farm and marine products amid slow progress of local economic recovery from the disaster, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

The government's growth strategy, known as the "third arrow" of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pro-growth policy mix following massive monetary easing and fiscal spending, will aim to improve the brand image of Japanese food on a tailwind of last year's registration of traditional Japanese cuisine on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, according to the draft.

By coordinating each prefecture's export promotion efforts, the government will try to avoid competition among prefectures in overseas markets and expand the sales network of Japanese foods abroad, the draft says.

The strategy will also seek to improve the quality of Japanese livestock and dairy products by promoting the use of safe domestic feedstuff.