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Japan shoots to quadruple rice exports by 2019

But obstacles remain as prices unaffordable for regular shoppers abroad

Japan hopes to lift rice exports to 100,000 tons by 2019.

TOKYO -- Japan aims to quadruple exports of rice and rice products to 100,000 tons in 2019, the agriculture ministry said Friday, but the food staple's price abroad may hinder the effort.

Exports last year totaled about 24,000 tons, of which roughly 10,000 tons consisted of rice consumed as a staple. The equivalent of around 11,000 tons was exported in the form of sake, while the remaining 3,000 tons went in rice crackers.

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