Japan launched a trading platform Thursday in Bangkok to increase exports of Japanese foodstuffs to Thailand and further promote Japanese cuisine there.
The establishment of the Japan Food Export Platform came as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government plans to increase the country's annual export of agricultural, forest and fishery products to 5 trillion yen ($38.58 billion) by 2030 from over 1 trillion yen in 2021.
Japanese farm minister Genjiro Kaneko said at the launch ceremony that Thailand is an "indispensable country" for significantly increasing Tokyo's farm exports, citing the high popularity of wagyu beef and Japanese strawberries in the Southeast Asian country.
The minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries said Japan's farm sector needs to "alter its structure so it can make profits abroad."
Japan plans to set up food export initiatives in eight countries and territories -- including the United States, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and the European Union -- by fiscal 2023.
Japan rolled out platforms in Los Angeles and New York in late April.
With the platforms, the farm ministry aims to significantly boost exports of Japanese farm products and foodstuffs in partnership with Japanese diplomatic missions abroad as well as overseas offices of the government-backed Japan External Trade Organization.
In a meeting with Kaneko earlier Thursday, Thai farm minister Chalermchai Sri-on said the talks "are a good opportunity to strengthen the agricultural relationship between Thailand and Japan."
With the two countries marking the 135 years of diplomatic ties this year, Chalermchai hailed long-term bilateral, trilateral and international organization-level cooperation in the agriculture area, according to the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Kaneko will travel next to Singapore where he is set to attend a similar ceremony.