Kimura was the most successful bidder at the traditional New Year’s auction at Tokyo’s main fish market, Toyosu on Sunday.
He said he bought the 276kg (608-pound) bluefin tuna, caught off the Aomori region in northern Japan, to please his customers.
“This is the best,” the tycoon said as cited by media after the auction. “Yes, this is expensive, isn’t it? I want our customers to eat very tasty ones this year too.”
The entrepreneur added that despite the high price, he was happy to win as it is the first New Year’s auction in the new era, Reiwa, which started in May of last year when Crown Prince Naruhito became the emperor.
A fish weighing just 2kg more was sold for a record $3.1 million at last year’s auction in Tokyo – the most expensive tuna ever sold. The record belongs to Kimura, who is also famous for buying very expensive fish at past auctions.