Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures on Monday won the top prizes at the close of a five-day Japanese wagyu beef competition, also known as the "Wagyu Olympics," held in southwestern Japan.
The prime minister's award for best breeding bull based on physique and coat was given to Kagoshima, the host of the 12th run of the event while neighboring Miyazaki scored the top prize for beef quality.
"Sunday was my wedding anniversary. I was able to give my wife the best present," said Iki Fujiyama, 47, who received the award on behalf of the Kagoshima team.
Meanwhile, the Miyazaki team expressed gratitude to their cattle, saying, "We want to continue to produce meat that will make people say that Miyazaki beef is delicious."
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who attended the closing ceremony in Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture, expressed hopes that the "attractiveness and productivity of Japanese wagyu beef will improve and be passed onto the next generation."
With Kagoshima winning six out of the nine divisions in the competition, Gov. Koichi Shiota boasted that "Kagoshima has, without question, the best wagyu beef in Japan," adding that he wanted to "promote our elite black cattle."
A record 438 cattle from 41 of Japan's 47 prefectures were entered into this year's competition, with more than 300,000 people attending over the five days. The event, held once every five years, will be hosted next by Hokkaido in northern Japan.