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Vietnam province, Japanese firm in talks on tuna canning plant

Vietnam province, Japanese firm in talks on tuna canning plant

Saturday, November 01, 2014, 16:23 GMT+7

The administration of a south-central Vietnamese province and a Japanese food company discussed Friday a project to set up a plant to process and can tuna caught off the provincial coast for export to Japan.

The meeting in Binh Dinh Province was attended by provincial chairman Le Huu Loc and representatives from Okinawa-based Hokugan Co.

“Fishing for tuna and preserving them in conformity with strict standards to ship them fresh to Japan is a major target we are endeavoring to achieve,” Loc said.

“But building a facility to process and can the tuna is also an important task that needs to be carried out quickly.”

More than 200,000 tons of seafood is caught off Binh Dinh’s coast annually, of which around 10,000 tons is ocean tuna, according to the chairman.

The tuna canning and processing plant could be located near the De Gi port in Phu Cat District, where a 60-hectare land plot is already available without work on site clearance or household relocation needed, he added.

Manbu Kawahira, who represents Hokugan Co., called on the Binh Dinh administration to continue its fisherman assisting programs and create favorable conditions for the Japanese company to set up the plant as soon as possible.

The Japanese firm is in Binh Dinh for a days-long working trip to study the feasibility of building the facility, shortly after Loc led a delegation to visit Okinawa and other prefectures in Japan to boost investment from October 17 to 25.

Japan has been actively assisted the Vietnamese province in catching tuna this year.

In June, Binh Dinh hosted a ceremony to receive five sets of tuna hunting equipment from Japan, which it had used VND1.5 billion (US$70,755) from the provincial coffers to buy.

The province also sent five fishermen and seafood officials to the East Asian country to learn about tuna catching and preserving technologies in a bid to enhance the quality of its catches.

The first batch of tuna, weighing 448 kilograms, that was caught using Japanese technology and equipment was sent to Japan in early August.

The tuna were sold out during the August 8 auction in Osaka at an average quote of 1,200 Japanese yen ($11.76) per kilogram, about three to four times higher than the VND60,000-80,000 ($2.82-3.76) per kilogram price in the case of them having been sold in Vietnam.

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