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Business trends

Wagyu seeks slice of South America, the land of beef

Prime Japanese cuts geared toward region's wealthy

Wagyu beef served at a Japanese barbecue restaurant. (Photo by Masaaki Kudo)

SAO PAULO -- Japan is promoting its prized wagyu beef in South America, hoping to make the premium cuts as famous as dishes like sushi and ramen.

The Japan External Trade Organization and Makoto, a U.S.-based operator of upscale Japanese restaurants, agreed Tuesday to collaborate on the effort in such countries as Brazil and Argentina. Wagyu will be served at a restaurant Makoto is planning to open in Sao Paulo. By putting the Japanese beef on the menu at a renowned restaurant, the trade organization hopes it will catch on.

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