The price translates to 210,000 yen per kilogram, or $1,238 per pound -- also a record, said Yutaka Hasegawa, a Tsukiji market official. Though the fish is undoubtedly high quality, the price has more to do with the celebratory atmosphere that surrounds the first auction of the year. The winning bidder, Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., which operates the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain, said he wanted to give Japan a boost after last year's devastating tsunami. "Japan has been through a lot the last year due to the disaster," a beaming Kimura told AP Television News. "Japan needs to hang in there. So I tried hard myself and ended up buying the most expensive one." Kimura also said he wanted to keep the fish in Japan "rather than let it get taken overseas."