• Nna/kyodo


Trading house Jalux Inc., an affiliate of Japan Airlines Co. and Sojitz Corp., will open the first Japanese wholesale market in Thailand on June 9 to meet growing demand for fresh food among health-conscious consumers.

Jalux says its Thai joint venture J Value Co. will launch the Japan Fresh Wholesale Market in Bangkok’s Thong Lor district to sell fresh seafood, vegetables, fruits and meat to hotels, restaurants, wholesalers and retailers.

The new market will operate in partnership with two wholesalers from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji market — seafood specialist Kamemoto Shoten Co. and vegetable specialist Nagamine Shoten Co. — as well as Sugimoto Meat Packing Co. of Nagoya.

The Jalux group owns a 62.5 percent stake in J Value, which was established in March this year with a registered capital of 44.4 million baht ($1.39 million), while the three wholesalers each hold 12.5 percent stakes, Tokyo-based Jalux said in a statement.

At present, such products from Japan are mainly distributed directly from importers to retailers and Japanese restaurants in Thailand, according to the Japan External Trade Organization.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy after Indonesia, Thailand has emerged as one of Japan’s major export destinations for agricultural and fishery products.

The number of Japanese restaurants in Thailand nearly quadrupled to about 2,800 in the 10 years through 2017, JETRO’s Bangkok office said.