Japanese firms show up in force at Seafood Expo North America

Published on
March 12, 2018

Japanese seafood companies will be out in force at the 2018 Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, taking place 11 to 13 March.

Included among the roughly 1,000 exhibitors at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center will be a score from Japan, one of 50 countries that will have a presence at the event.

Banjo Foods Co., Ltd., based in Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture, is a processor of Japanese wasabi. The company started in 1952 by producing wasabi powder, later expanding to paste in a tube. The company’s range further expanded to ginger and karashi (mustard) paste, and then to sauces and dressings. With the worldwide spread of Japanese food, the firm began to export “hon-wasabi” in 2011. “Hon-wasabi” is real Japanese wasabi – even in many sushi bars in Japan, the wasabi paste is not made from hon-wasabi but from a mixture of wasabi and horseradish.

Tokyo-based Kaneku Co., Ltd. will also be displaying Japanese wasabi.

The China-Japan Corporation, operates and factory in China specializing in boiling and further processing octopus. It started with a Chinese factory, importing and selling its products directly in Japan, then went on to open an second factory in Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. The Chinese factory ships frozen products to Japan, while the domestic facility offers chilled products.

Dohsuinakatani Suisan Co. Ltd., headquartered in Hata-gun, Kochi Prefecture (a “gun” is like a U.S. county), focuses on aquaculture and seafood trading, particularly in farmed bluefin tuna. The company has aquaculture facilities capable of producing 15,000 bluefin per year. The fish range in size from 32 kilograms in June of the second year of cultivation, to 47 kilograms at year-end, and up to 60 kilograms in May of the third year. The company aims to make a shift from wild-caught to closed-cycle tuna this year.

GOT Japan Co., Ltd., based in Tokyo, sells a wide variety of seafood, mainly sushi ingredients including amberjack, horse mackerel, yellowtail, mackerel, salmon, scallops, sea bream, sea urchin, squid, and tuna. It exports to the U.S., selling wholesale to distributors in several major cities.

Hachiyosuisan Co., Ltd., of Miyagi, features seaweed products including parboiled mekabu seaweed, wakame seaweed, and mozuku.

Hashiguchi Aquaculture Co., Ltd., based in Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture, will present farm-raised, frozen yellowtail, and tuna. The company uses special feed formulations that it claims cut fishy odors and slow discoloration in yellowtail. 

Likewise, Rumi Japan (Morimatsu Suisan Reito Co., Ltd.), based in Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, has collaborated with a feed manufacturer to develop a feed incorporating green tea catechin. The company claims that it prevents the blood-saturated portion—a strip of dark meat running along the fish’s body between the lighter back and belly portions—from oxidation and color deterioration, and that it also reduces fishy smell. 

The Japan Aquatic Products Export Council, based in Tokyo, has a mission to facilitate the export of fishery products harvested or processed in Japan, while the Kochi Farmed Fish Export Promotion Association plays a similar role in promoting the products of Kochi Prefecture.

Kaneko Sangyo Co., Ltd., based in Karatsu-City, Saga Prefecture, is a Nissui Group company engaged in the aquaculture and feed businesses.

Misaki Megumi Suisan Co. Ltd. of Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture, is a fish processor and wholesaler focused on frozen tuna. The company started exports in the 2013 fiscal year, and established a subsidiary in Singapore in 2015. It also sells online and manages sushi restaurants.

Nishiuo Marketing Co., Ltd., based in Tokyo, is a trader dealing mainly in horse mackerel, mackerel, sea bream, and Atlantic salmon.

Nosui Corporation, based in Tokyo, offers frozen and processed seafood products including ark shell, salmon roe, squid rolls, oysters, and shrimp.

Ocean Boy Co., Ltd. of Fukuoka City, exports bluefin tuna and yellowtail along with a wide variety of local fish. In the U.S., it distributes through Global Ocean Trading LLC in Alhambra, California. 

True World Japan Inc., a general food trading company based in Tokyo, likewise offers farmed yellowtail, along with farmed bluefin tuna.

Shimizu Shoten Co., Ltd., based in Higashi-Ibaraki, Ibaraki Prefecture, offers boiled octopus and Japanese flying squid. 

Uoichi Co., Ltd. of Osaka, is a wholesale dealer at the central wholesale markets in the Kansai area, dealing in a wide variety of finfish and shellfish. In order to deal with the slump in business associated with Japan’s declining population, the company is focusing more on consigned business and cooperation with large group companies, and on exports.

Uon Co., Ltd. based in Tokyo, offers seafood purchasing in Japan and logistics for export, consulting for new product development, and event planning, such as tuna-cutting shows.

Contributing Editor reporting from Osaka, Japan

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