As an importer of products from Japan, AKT Trading Inc. was hit hard by a slowdown in logistics and transport caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the health crisis, the Torrance-based firm stayed true to its commitment to act as a one-stop shop for Japanese food and beverage exporters to the United States and facilitate smooth business.
“We always try to make the best match between Japanese producers and U.S. customers, as well as find unique products. Following the lifting of import restrictions in November 2021, we became the first importer of Japanese melons into the mainland United States,” said AKT Trading President Akikazu Kimura, who enjoys introducing new products from Japan to American consumers.
“We constantly do our research and if they need a permit, we will get it for them. Regulations always change; we teach them and help them with that. That is very helpful for Japanese manufacturers, for example,” Kimura added.
Even amid the uncertainty brought by the pandemic, AKT Trading managed to introduce new Japanese products to American consumers. While millions of businesses struggled to maintain sales, the company only needed to shift its focus.
“Our dried candied yuzu (citrus fruit) peel was included in the premium sushi box served in the VIP room at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. It was an honor that our yuzu was used for Super Bowl 2022. We also imported tuna a couple of times in 2021 from Nagasaki Prefecture, which was sold in a sushi bar in a high-end American grocery chain,” Kimura said.