The US TV Commercials Boosting Awareness of Scallop in Japanese

US media poplularize Japanese scallop

On December 21, 2023, major US media outlets reported a significant development in the seafood industry: starting February 19, CNN TV began broadcasting a series of advertisements focusing on Japanese scallops and other marine products. This campaign, emerging amidst growing trade tensions between China and Japan due to environmental concerns, aims to bolster the presence of Japanese seafood, particularly scallops, in the US market.

This advertising move is in response to the international dispute triggered by the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s discharge of nuclear wastewater into the ocean. Subsequently, China imposed a comprehensive ban on imports of Japanese seafood, significantly impacting Japan’s export sector and prompting a strategic shift towards alternative markets, including the United States.

The initiative, led by the Japan Food Overseas Promotion Center (JFOODO), established in 2017, aims to enhance the global export of Japanese agricultural and fishery products. The campaign places a specific focus on the scallop in Japanese cuisine, emphasizing its distinct flavors and traditional cooking methods. The advertisements also highlight the scenic beauty of Japan’s fishing villages, an effort to attract the attention of American consumers.

Japanese government statistics show that in 2022, the export value of Japanese scallops amounted to 911 billion yen. Before the nuclear incident, a significant portion of these exports were processed in China before being sent to the US market. However, following the incident, the Japanese government, alongside agencies like the Japan Trade Revitalization Agency (JETRO), has intensified efforts to promote the Japanese scallop directly in the US market, seeking to alleviate the economic impact of China’s import ban.

From Tuesday onwards, CNN will start airing commercials to promote Japanese scallops and other fishery products. This initiative is a direct response to the ongoing Chinese import ban following the Fukushima nuclear incident and is intended to stimulate US consumption of these products.

Produced by JFOODO, an affiliate of the Japan External Trade Organization, the commercials will run for several months. They are designed to showcase the unique taste of the Japanese scallop and its various culinary applications, along with the tranquil fishing villages of Japan.

The blanket ban by China on Japanese fishery products, including scallops, in August has led to a notable decrease in demand within the Japanese market. In response, the Japanese government and JETRO have been actively promoting the Japanese scallop, particularly to the American market.

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