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Pair of premium Yubari melons sell for ¥3 million

44 Comments

A pair of melons grown in Yubari in Hokkaido, fetched 3 million yen at the first auction of the season in Sapporo on Friday.

The auction was held at at the Sapporo City Central Wholesale Market from 7 a.m., Hokkaido Broadcasting Corp reported. The buyer was Hokuyupack Co, a melon packaging and sales company in Yubari.

Hokuyupack President Kiyomichi Noda said, “I want to revitalize Yubari and hope people all over Japan will enjoy the sweet melons.'' He said Yubari melons will be given away for free to the first 200 customers at his company's office on June 1st and 2nd.

According to the Yubari City Agricultural Cooperative, this year, 89 melon growers are expected to ship a total of 3,219 tons, with sales expected to be around 1.92 billion yen.

The highest price ever paid for a pair of Yubari melons at an auction was 5 million yen in 2019.

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44 Comments
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It's like Groundhog Year in Japan.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

“Dystopian end-stage capitalism repackaged as feel-good stories”.

-15 ( +13 / -28 )

The collective Japanese psyche refuses to leave the bubble period. This ain't 1989, Japan. You really need to move on.

-9 ( +13 / -22 )

Baffling. Is the thinking that one of these melons offers a 1.5 million yen experience?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

It's a tax write off. All of it is advertising.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Utter madness.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

And on a lighter note, melons seem to be all the rage in the Japan Today news cycle in recent times. Not that I don't mind a pair of nice firm ones.

But at 3 million, they'd have to be utterly perfect, and more.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Nothing premium about those melons except the price. Typical Japanese way.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Seems a bit odd that it would take the annual net salary of a conbini worker to buy this pair.....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How many people could ¥3 million feed?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Underpriced….

/s

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's a tax write off.

So what if it is? One company writes it off, another pays taxes on it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The tax loophole allowing a pair of fruits to sell for 3 million needs closing.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

what can I say, crazy

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I got mine for 700 yen at Hanamasa and it was sweet juicy and tender. Wonder if there is that much of a difference.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well, they are obviously not going to sell crates of these at ¥3,000,000 a pair. It is, as brother Yubaru cleverly points out, a tax write off. They do the same thing with tuna, etc.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Utter madness.

Sorry Matt I disagree.

For $30, 000 the producers of these melons get national and international coverage.

This story will be picked up by many news organizations around Japan and the world.

In Japan the notion of buying and eating melons has been implanted.

This goes for cherries, grapes, peaches, and of course blue fin tuna.

It Works! That's why it is done every year.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Sure, I would rather spend it on a Lady, or better yet a Harley, LOL

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They look very succulent.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The buyer was Hokuyupack Co, a melon packaging and sales company in Yubari. Hokuyupack President Kiyomichi Noda said, “I want to revitalize Yubari and hope people all over Japan will enjoy the sweet melons.''

For a mere JPY3m, this is great advertising.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The tax loophole allowing a pair of fruits to sell for 3 million needs closing.

Explain the loophole. I'm guessing you don't understand, but I'm happy to correct you, or learn from you.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

owzer

The tax loophole allowing a pair of fruits to sell for 3 million needs closing.

Explain the loophole. I'm guessing you don't understand, but I'm happy to correct you, or learn from you.

The loophole is someone buying two melons for ¥3 million when the real value is less than ¥50,000. There should be a limit to what people can file for when buying these items.

The tax claim should be more ¥50,000, not ¥3 million.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What people do with their money is their business. Even if it's result of a tax loop hole I'm not sure who is truely benefiting from this sale. In any case just feels like a nothing burger and not news to me. Just like how if I decide to splurge on something I particularly like shouldn't be news to others.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan has always had such melons, and other things, at these prices. People buy them to give to other people (mostly bigwigs, to be sure) but somewhat of a tradition. Other countries don't do this, hence the disbelief in these comments.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's called "capitalism". That's how it works. You're welcome!!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It is ¥ 3 million in advertising expenses. Taste, quality etc are basically irrelevant. Good chance these two famous melons wont be eaten - just displayed in a glass cabinet.

The melon packaging company that paid this money will recoup the cost many, many times over in sales.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's the JT comments section so I'm not surprised that people are tripping over each other to voice their disapproval, but this was a publicity stunt. A company might pay ¥3M for a commercial segment on the national news on one channel, now they can be assured that they will be mentioned DURING the national news on ALL channels.

So lighten up.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

When will the Japanese government step in a have this website closed?!!

Are you Russian or Chinese? Governments can't do that in democratic countries. That's dictatorship.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For $30, 000 the producers of these melons get national and international coverage.

Its now less than 20k USD, :(, and cost the buyer, not the producer.

What I am most interested in though is the assertion that this got meaningful "international coverage". I suspect the international media are bored with this. If they bothered to find out that the melons are grown over winter (average outside temp for Dec to Feb is minus 5.6C) in superheated polytunnels, I doubt Western media would be so keen on acting as patsies handing out valuable free promotion. Any news outlet supposedly keen on reporting on climate issues would probably want to comment on the heating bill. Yubari climate in this link here.

https://www.data.jma.go.jp/obd/stats/etrn/view/nml_amd_3m.php?prec_no=15&block_no=0049&year=&month=&day=&view=

The idea of growing melons over winter in Hokkaido is very artificial and denies the Japanese central claim of eating "shun no mono" (seasonal food).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

gokai_wo_manekuMay 24 09:36 pm JST

It's called "capitalism". That's how it works. You're welcome!!

Capitalism drives prices down to their costs. This is fetishization of food. Maybe it makes some people feel good but it has nothing to do with capitalism.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

RedemptionMay 24 10:03 pm JST

Americans blow money on cocaine and fentanyl. Japanese on fruits. Which is worse?

So you will acknowledge that blowing wads on impermanent items is not setting a good example for people?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For corporate tax purposes, it is covered as an 'expense' under the 'advertising, PR, Marketing ' clause. So, the cost of business expenses is borne by the whole country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

These melons or similar are so ‘popular’ that I picked a discounted one up the other day at 400 yen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pay Y3m, obtain way more than Y3m in media publicity without breaking the new govt. rule the JT mentioned on here some time ago that banned the presentation of products as news items. Seems sensible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the only people that would waste that kind of money are the Chinese, they love expensive things thinking it means and equates to quality.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Like most things, if the tabloids stop reporting it, it'll go away.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The loophole is someone buying two melons for ¥3 million when the real value is less than ¥50,000. There should be a limit to what people can file for when buying these items.

If you think that's a loophole, I'm happy to sell you a couple of melons for ¥3 million. You can enjoy the "benefits" of this "loophole" too!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The shop price for Yubari melons is ¥30,000 to ¥50,000 each.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A perfect example as to why regular people hate rich people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wallace, for the most part, you can sell whatever you want for however much or little you want. If you have a seller and a buyer who agree on the price, it's fine. You seem to think that the person who spends ¥3 million on a couple of melons is cheating the system. If the system says they can write it off, then it's fine. If not, then they can only write off an amount equal to the maximum allowable amount (in some cases it would be zero - so not a tax write off). But even if they are able to deduct the entire 3 million yen, the SELLER has now made 3 million yen in sales which he must report and pay taxes on. So the government still gets its money.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

owzer

Wallace, for the most part, you can sell whatever you want for however much or little you want. If you have a seller and a buyer who agree on the price, it's fine.

I don't disagree with that.

You seem to think that the person who spends ¥3 million on a couple of melons is cheating the system.

I did not mention anything about cheating.

If the system says they can write it off, then it's fine.

The tax law needs to be changed.

Claiming ¥3 million tax for a pair of melons worth no more than ¥100,000.

For taxes, some items are bought but can't be claimed against taxes in full.

If not, then they can only write off an amount equal to the maximum allowable amount (in some cases it would be zero - so not a tax write off).

But even if they are able to deduct the entire 3 million yen, the SELLER has now made 3 million yen in sales which he must report and pay taxes on. So the government still gets its money.

The seller can also claim expenses and overheads so it will be much less than ¥3 million.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How many people could ¥3 million feed?

Who knows? How's that relevant? How many new tires for SUV's could be purchased with that money?

The tax law needs to be changed.

How come it hasn't been changed? Why aren't they listening to you?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

zibalaMay 25 11:51 pm JST

How many people could ¥3 million feed?

Who knows? How's that relevant? How many new tires for SUV's could be purchased with that money?

Keeping people alive and productive is more important than SUVs.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The seller can also claim expenses and overheads so it will be much less than ¥3 million.

The seller is claiming those expenses anyway. It makes no difference.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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