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Premium Japanese melons bound for Singapore, grapes for Vietnam

Farm once popular with Asian tourists looks overseas for fresh growth

Muskmelons are grown at Nishijima Horticultural Park's farm in Nankoku, Kochi Prefecture. (Photo by Ken Hotai)

KOCHI, Japan -- Starting in March, planes will ship high-value, hard-to-produce items from Japan to Singapore -- not computer chips or auto parts, but melons.

A farm in western Japan plans to export muskmelons to Singapore and to grow grapes in Vietnam and Thailand as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps away the tourists who had made its business flourish.

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