Japan's agricultural, fishery and forestry product exports rose 14.3 percent in 2022 from a year earlier to a record 1.4 trillion yen ($10.9 billion), government data showed Friday, due to the yen's weakness and overseas dining industries' recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
It marked a 10th consecutive record-breaking year, the farm ministry said. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government aims to increase agricultural and fishery exports to 2 trillion yen by 2025 and 5 trillion yen by 2030.
Products in all categories logged their best ever results in the reporting year, with agricultural product exports accounting for 887 billion yen, fishery products for 387.3 billion yen and forestry-related items for 63.8 billion yen.
Scallop exports to markets including China and the United States were particularly strong, jumping 42.4 percent from a year earlier to 91 billion yen.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said alcoholic beverages also posted good results, with exports of Japanese whiskies rising 21.5 percent to 56 billion yen and sake increasing 18.2 percent to 47.4 billion yen.
Beef exports, however, declined 4 percent to 52 billion yen due to falling consumption in the United States amid rising prices.
Lower catches also led to decreased exports of tuna and mackerel, according to the ministry.
Exports were partly boosted by the 2022 entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, an Asia-Pacific free trade agreement involving 15 nations including Japan, Australia, China, Singapore and South Korea.
China topped the list of destinations, with such exports to the country rising 25.2 percent to 278.3 billion yen. Other major markets included Hong Kong and the United States.
The record-high figure for 2022 marked a 500 billion yen increase from pre-pandemic 2019, when such exports were valued at 912.1 billion yen.
Agricultural and fishery exports in 2021 stood at 1.2 trillion yen, topping 1 trillion yen for the first time.
As part of initiatives to hit the 2030 target, the farm ministry has implemented an action plan to boost exports, including encouraging the use of abandoned agricultural land and shifting to organic farming.
Kishida has also been involved in the promotion of exports, making an appearance at a New York event in September for Japanese cuisine and alcohol.
Japan's Jan.-Nov. farm, fisheries exports already hit annual record