Pair of Japanese premium melons sell for record $29,300

A pair of Yubari melons, that fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at an auction, are seen in Sapporo on May 26, 2018. The single pair of premium melons on May 26 fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at an auction in Japan, where the produce can be a huge status symbol. (AFP)
Updated 26 May 2018
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Pair of Japanese premium melons sell for record $29,300

  • Yubari melons are considered a status symbol in Japan with many being bought as a gift for friends and colleagues.
  • Ordinary fruit is comparatively expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost as much as $3.

TOKYO: A single pair of premium melons on Saturday fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at auction in Japan, where the fruit is regarded as a status symbol.
Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan routinely attract massive sums from buyers seeking social prestige, or from shop owners wanting to attract customers to “ooh and aah” over the extravagant edibles.
The winning bid was placed by a local fruit packing firm for the first Yubari melons to go under the hammer this year at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in northern Hokkaido, officials said.
The figure — enough to buy a new car in Japan — topped the previous record for the luxury fruit, which fetched 3.0 million yen two years ago.
“Yubari melons are growing well this year as sunshine hours have been long since early May,” said market official Tatsuro Shibuta.
Yubari melons are considered a status symbol in Japan — like a fine wine — with many being bought as a gift for friends and colleagues.
The best-quality Yubari melons are perfect spheres with a smooth, evenly patterned rind. A T-shaped stalk is left on the fruit, which is usually sold in an ornate box.
Even ordinary fruit is comparatively expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost as much as $3.


’Pig’ British tourists to be deported from New Zealand

Updated 16 January 2019
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’Pig’ British tourists to be deported from New Zealand

  • The family have been involved in a string of incidents in the country, including accusations of littering, assault, not paying for restaurant meals and intimidating behavior
  • "They're worse than pigs and I'd like to see them out of the country," Auckland mayor said

WELLINGTON: Members of a British family have been branded “worse than pigs” and face deportation from New Zealand after a spree of bad behavior that left normally easygoing Kiwis outraged.
The family have been involved in a string of incidents in and around Auckland and Hamilton, including accusations of littering, assault, not paying for restaurant meals and intimidating behavior.
Auckland mayor Phil Goff led national outcry at the tourists’ antics, demanding the police take action. “These guys are trash. They are leeches,” he told a local radio station.
“If you say one time ‘I found a hair or an ant in my meal’ you’d believe it but they find it every meal that they have as a way of evading payment. That’s a criminal activity.
“They’re worse than pigs and I’d like to see them out of the country.”
New Zealand’s assistant general manager of immigration, Peter Devoy, said the family had been issued with a deportation notice on the grounds of “matters relating to character.”
One 26-year-old member of the family on Wednesday pleaded guilty to stealing NZ$55 ($37) worth of goods from a petrol station.
The family attracted extensive media coverage in New Zealand after a video showed them leaving beer boxes, bottles and other rubbish strewn on a popular beach.
When a woman asked them to clean up their litter, a child in the group can be seen on video threatening he would “knock your brains out.”
Stuff Media reported that one family member hit a journalist with her shoe after being approached for comment.
A member of the family told the New Zealand Herald they have now decided to cut short their holiday and will return home this week.
John Johnson insisted his family were of good stock, claimed his grandfather was the “10th richest man in England” and said he was made to feel “very unwelcome” in New Zealand.