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Speech made by Minister Kishino at a reception held on the occasion of the opening of the Japanese booth at the International Food and Drink Exhibition

14 March 2005

Mr Kinoshita, distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to have been invited to speak at the Opening Ceremony of the Japanese Booth in the International Food and Drink Exhibition this evening.

London is one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities. International cuisine is easy to find. In particular, Japanese cuisine has certainly gained quite a following in this country, and is growing ever more popular. Nowadays, sushi has already been adopted by British people, and is commonly found even in supermarkets. Health food stores also sell an assortment of Japanese foods.

Japanese restaurants in London are varied and numerous, whether they offer traditional Japanese cuisine or fusion food. Moreover, restaurants serving modern cuisine here in London routinely use Japanese ingredients, such as miso and seaweed, so as to add extra relish and introduce a new style of taste. In a cookery TV show that has become very popular, a celebrity chef often uses Japanese condiments in a secret formula to create a mysterious taste.

Indeed, the UK has continued to absorb cultural influences from all over the world. I believe that this International Food and Drink Exhibition provides a great opportunity to introduce a further variety of Japanese foods and ingredients, as well as Japanese recipes, to the British people.

The key elements of Japanese food and dishes are: firstly, their health-giving properties; secondly, their delicacy in taste; and thirdly, the exquisite beauty in their presentation. When all of these are well publicized, I am sure that Japanese food and dishes can further penetrate the British market.

I also hope that this exhibition will be an opportunity to arouse the interest of the British people not only in Japanese food, but also in Japanese society, culture and lifestyle. Food is indeed very much cultural in essence.

Before I conclude, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the preparation of the Japanese Booth. I have no doubt that it will prove to be a great success.

  Visitors to the Japan booth sample Japanese food and drink
Visitors to the Japan booth sample Japanese food and drink  
Visitors to the Japan booth sample Japanese food and drink




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