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Speech by Ambassador Orita on the occasion of the launch party for the Original Sushi Competition 2004

23 February 2004

On 23 February 2004, Ambassador Orita attended the launch party of this year's Original Sushi Competition at Zilli Fish Too Restaurant.

Master Chef Mr. Aldo Zilli, Sushi Masters, Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen

It is a great pleasure to be here with you at the launch party for the Original Sushi Competition 2004. How wonderful it is for this party to be held at this fashionable "Zilli Fish TooO Restaurant! I would like to express my special gratitude to Aldo for hosting today's event and for giving us such a wonderful opportunity.

Sushi is one of the most popular foods in Japan. And gradually it has spread to the many other parts of the world. But it was not only that, the art of making sushi seems to have caught the imagination of many people in London, as was shown by the successes of the last two Original Sushi Competitions, And I am very pleased to see today special OItalian SushiO. Italian cuisine is now extremely popular here in UK and also in Japan. Wonderful combination of Sushi and Italian food will be appealing to many people. I also want to see this new style spread to Japan. And it will be rather nice to see some chain of restaurants, perhaps Zilli restaurants, serve here and also in Japan the combination of Japanese and Italian foods.

We are about to start what we call "Visit Japan Campaign". We hope very much that more and more people are interested in going to Japan, as tourist, to enjoy Japan, to see beautiful scenery, to visit new and traditional places, to meet people there,and explore and enjoy Japanese food, including Sushi and perhaps Italian Sushi. We have set the official target of doubling the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan by 2010. All visitors will be given a warm welcome in Japan. When you plan for the next holiday, why don't you think about the possibility of visiting Japan?

This year's Sushi Competition will, I am sure, again attract many participants and produce many new forms of sushi with full of imaginations. I wish this event and participants every success. Now may I propose a toast to the success of the Competition and to good health and happiness for all who are here now "in Japanese"? Kanpai!

Related site: The Original Sushi Competition 2004

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