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Japan's exports might shift to foodies

Japan's export engine based on electronics and cars has stalled, though the future could be utilizing the country’s gourmet culture to position itself as a purveyor of perfect food.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eager to increase agriculture exports by a third for the next three years to about 1 trillion yen, though experts tell he requires aiming much higher if food is to turn into a mainstay export for Japan.

Experts draw attention to the fact that Italy successfully makes use of its food culture to drive food exports, while France is doing the same with wine. They hope Japanese food boasts the same potential.  

The recipe seems simple enough: an advertising blitz, better logistics as well as a splash of social media buzz with the tag #japanesefood, not to mention some lobbying of foreign governments.

Japan's total exports dropped an annual 6.9% in September. That’s a 12th straight sag, the finance ministry unveiled on Monday.

Shipments of vehicles, steel, electronics parts - all of them dropped, while exports of food headed north 7.6% from a year earlier.

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