In a bid to renew consumer enthusiasm for beef after the announcement of a second case of BSE in the country, an online campaign has been launched in Japan extolling the virtues of “yakiniku” (barbecued meat).

The organizers of the website revealed earlier today [Wednesday] that of the 113 yakiniku restaurants affiliated with the site, four have been forced to close due to falling sales. Those counting the costs of a 50% decline in sales may even be the lucky ones, site spokesman Pak Hyong Ju told the Kyodo News, as an 80-90% decrease in sales is not uncommon.

The site includes a competition, open to all consumers who spend more than ¥5,000 (US$40.53) at a yakiniku restaurant between this Saturday and late January next year, which offers cash prizes. There will be five winners picking up ¥100,000 each and 50 others who will win  ¥10,000 each.

To visit the website, click here.