TOKYO, JAPAN — Mitsui & Co. said it would import 5,000 tonnes of rice from Myanmar in Japan’s first purchase of the grain from the Southeast Asian country in more than four decades, Bloomberg reported on March 26.

Japan’s second-largest trading company purchased the long-grain rice for an import tender held by the agriculture ministry for sales to producers of liquor and crackers, an official for Tokyo-based Mitsui told Bloomberg. She asked not to be identified because she isn’t authorized to make public statements to the media.

Mitsui is considering investing $159 million in Myanmar to build three rice-milling facilities capable of processing 300,000 tonnes a year for shipments mainly to the Middle East and Africa, she said.

The current purchase will be shipped from Yangon in May, the official said. It will be the first purchase by Japan since 1968, she said.