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Japan's food exports in 2021 are now certain to reach the government's target of ¥1 trillion for the first time, it was learned Wednesday.

In the January-October period, exports of food items and agriculture, forestry and fishery products increased 28% from a year before to ¥973.4 billion, according to informed sources.

The government will shortly release official export data for the first 10 months of the year.

The exports are growing as demand for eating out is recovering in countries such as the United States and China, with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic receding.

Japan is seeing rises in beef exports to the United States and scallop shipments to both the U.S. and China. Shipments of Japanese sake and whisky are also growing steadily.

"It's certain that exports will exceed ¥1 trillion by November," a government official said.

Since the harvest of many agricultural products including apples peaks in fall, exports usually increase in winter. Christmas and other events also contribute to higher exports.

In October, meanwhile, food exports expanded 14.9% from a year earlier to ¥105.4 billion, a record high for a single month. Of the total, scallop shipments came to ¥8.4 billion, while those of alcoholic beverages including sake and whiskey stood at ¥10.1 billion.

The government aims to boost food exports to ¥1 trillion immediately, ¥2 trillion in 2025 and ¥5 trillion in 2030. In 2020, the exports reached a record high of ¥986 billion but fell short of the immediate target.

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