Kiyoshi Kimura, also known as "Tuna King," drops $1.8 million on a large tuna fish at a New Year's auction in Tokyo

By Gabrielle Chung
January 06, 2020 06:37 PM
Credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/Getty Images

Self-described “Tuna King” Kiyoshi Kimura is willing to drop big bucks for fresh fish.

The 67-year-old Japanese businessman, who runs restaurant chain Sushi Zanmai, paid $1.8 million for a massive 608-pound bluefin tuna at the early morning New Year’s auction in Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market, according to Japanese national broadcaster NHK.

The fish was caught in a port located in Japan’s northern Aomori prefecture, the outlet reported.

Kimura, who also owns Kiyomura Corp, told reporters following his bid that he was especially happy to get the tuna in the first auction of the new imperial Reiwa era, according to NHK.

“This is the best,” Kimura said, according to Agence France-Presse. “Yes, this is expensive, isn’t it? I want our customers to eat very tasty ones this year, too.”

Kiyoshi Kimura
| Credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/Getty Images

Despite the hefty price tag, Kimura’s latest purchase was not the most expensive fish he’s ever bought. The business mogul previously spent a record-breaking $3 million on a single 612-pound prized Pacific bluefin tuna during 2019’s New Year’s auction, Agence France-Presse reported.

In 2016, Kimura also plunked down $118,000 for an approximately 440-pound tuna. He also spent $1.76 million on a 488-pound bluefin in 2013.

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Per The Japan Times, Kimura plans to serve his newly acquired tuna at one of his restaurant chain’s outlet in nearby Tsukiji, where the former New Year’s fish auction was held.

Reaching up to 1,500 pounds, the Bluefin is one of the largest tunas in the world and can live up to 40 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They are considered an endangered species.