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Japan develops stronger appetite for US rice

Price supports make domestic varieties harder to afford for eateries

The U.S. produces about 30% more rice than Japan.

TOKYO -- Japanese imports of American rice are sharply increasing due to higher prices for homegrown varieties used by restaurants, a result of government measures to prop up domestic rice prices by reducing supplies.

Japan caps imports of foreign rice. But demand for the cheaper, easy-to-cook foreign product is on the rise at food service companies.

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