• Kyodo

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Homegrown production of caviar is on the increase in Japan after domestic producers stepped up efforts to improve their breeding technology for sturgeons in recent years in a bid to increase revenue from one of the world’s most luxurious delicacies.

The country’s largest caviar producer, Miyazaki Prefecture-base Japan Caviar Inc., is a success story when it comes to mastering the production of caviar, the salted eggs of sturgeons.

The company began exporting its first batch of domestically produced caviar earlier this month in an effort to break into overseas markets such as Asia, the U.S. and Europe.

“I want Japanese-produced caviar to be a top brand globally,” Motoo Sakamoto, president of Japan Caviar, said during a ceremony at Miyazaki Airport last Wednesday marking the maiden export of his firm’s Miyazaki Caviar 1983 product. It was scheduled to be served at an upscale hotel in Hong Kong.

A pioneer in caviar production, the firm developed its breeding technology in 1983, and began selling its own caviar 30 years later. Its caviar is also served to first-class passengers on All Nippon Airways flights.

Local caviar producers from various parts of the country, including Hokkaido, Wakayama and Kagawa prefectures, are hoping that locally produced caviar, at a time when a majority of sturgeon species are listed as endangered, can attract global attention.

In Wakayama Prefecture, Kindai University’s Aquaculture Research Institute, known for its farm-raised bluefin tuna, is also raising sturgeons. Its caviar, produced at a laboratory in the city of Shingu and sold when available, has proved popular.

Caviar is also being produced in the city of Higashikagawa, Kagawa Prefecture, where about 10,000 sturgeons are being raised in pools set up inside a onetime school gymnasium.

Different types of caviar are also produced in the hot-springs village of Okuhida, Gifu Prefecture, and in the city of Hiroshima.

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