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Pair of Yubari Melons Fetch 3 M. Yen in 1st Auction of Season

Pair of Yubari Melons Fetch 3 M. Yen in 1st Auction of Season

   Sapporo, May 24 (Jiji Press)--A pair of Yubari melons sold for 3 million yen in the first auction of the season in Sapporo, the capital of the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, on Friday.
   A total of 1,696 Yubari melons, including the pair, were put up for auction at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market on the day, up about sixfold from the previous year's first auction. The Yubari melon is known as a summer delicacy from the Hokkaido city of Yubari.
   Hokuyupack Co., a Yubari-based fruits and vegetables packing company, placed the winning bid for the highest-priced pair for the third straight year.
   "We bid for it because we wanted to revitalize Yubari," said Kiyomichi Noda, 76, president and chairman of Hokuyupack. "I want people all over Japan to eat rich and sweet (Yubari) melons." The 3-million-yen melons will be served for free to locals on a first- come, first-served basis next month.
   According to Yubari's agricultural cooperative, melon growth progressed smoothly this year thanks to favorable weather conditions and ample sunshine.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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