Japan's agriculture ministry has been promoting the consumption of game meat, especially among younger generations, as part of an effort to increase income in mountainous areas struggling with damage inflicted by wild animals.

The amount of game meat used at restaurants in Japan rose by 1.6-fold to 2,085 tons in fiscal 2022 from six years earlier, according to the ministry, which aims to increase the figure to 4,000 tons by fiscal 2025.

In order to increase the consumption, the ministry stages an online campaign from autumn to winter every year to introduce restaurants that serve game meat dishes. This season's campaign is being joined by about 1,500 restaurants and shops.

The latest campaign features promotions by food information website operator Gurunavi, and includes game meat dishes that are likely to become popular, including hamburgers, tacos and hotpots.

A ministry official said that meat is easy to eat for younger generations as well, although people might have an impression that it is a little bit unapproachable. The ministry wants game meat to be used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine, the official said.