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Pandemic craze for Japan's 'medaka' rice fish keeps up steam

Colorful pets are easy to keep and breed, and can sell for over $3,000 each

Rice fish have become popular pets in Japan because of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among city dwellers with busy schedules and little space. 

TOKYO - Rice fish, the small freshwater fish known as "medaka" in Japanese, are becoming increasingly popular these days as the pet boom continues across Japan. 

A colorful pair of male and female rice fish produced through selective breeding go for at least 2,000 yen ($15) and sometimes more than 3,000 yen -- a stunning increase from the days they cost a fraction of that and were only to be found in a far corner of the tropical fish section. 

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