TOKYO, Jan. 26 – The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries newly appointed 36 people from 30 countries and regions as Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassadors to help promote Japanese cuisine and food culture, as part of efforts to boost exports of Japan-grown farm produce.
Eighteen countries including South Korea and Singapore were newly added to the list of countries and regions where the goodwill ambassadors, mainly chefs, were chosen from.
Alon Than, the first ambassador to be appointed from Poland, is an owner of a Japanese restaurant and the 2015 champion of World Sushi Cup, a sushi competition for foreign chefs held by the ministry.
Chosen from Spain is Andoni Luis Aduriz, owner and chef of internationally known restaurant Mugaritz who is well-versed in Japanese food items and Japanese cuisine.
The first to be appointed from the African continent is Jean Charbel Karam, manager of a sushi bar restaurant in Benin.
The ministry started appointing the goodwill ambassadors in 2015 and has so far chosen a total of 145 people – 87 from 44 countries and regions and 58 in Japan – to spread Japanese food and dietary culture through assisting the ministry’s projects, engaging in promotional activities and offering advice to Japanese restaurants abroad.