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Export fund seeks inroads for Japanese produce into Asia's middle class

Tokyo-backed venture to set up stall in Hong Kong supermarkets

Tomatoes and other Japanese produce are coming to Hong Kong supermarkets.

TOKYO -- A Japanese public-private fund will back an effort to sell domestic produce at supermarkets elsewhere in Asia to middle-class consumers who have mainly seen these imports as a luxury rather than everyday shopping.

The Cool Japan Fund's partnership with Tokyo-listed produce distributor Nousouken starts in Hong Kong, with 100 supermarkets to set up in-store stalls for Japanese-grown fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and spinach.

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