Japan wants its cuisine added to UN heritage list
Friday 01 July 2011
From sushi to tempura, okonomiyaki, ramen and yakitori, Japanese dishes are in line to be added to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's list of cuisine designated as an intangible cultural heritage.
The agriculture ministry in Tokyo has announced that it will put forward the nation's food culture - which includes the utensils used in preparing and eating food and Japan's unique table manners - for inclusion on the list.
The ministry aims to file the application with UNESCO in March next year and a decision on whether it is worthy of inclusion may be reached as early as November 2013, ministry officials said in a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.
"If it were registered, we anticipate there would be a wide range of positive effects, such as on tourism and exports," Masayo Tanabu, a parliamentary secretary for the ministry, said at the press conference.
One of the driving forces behind the idea is to provide new support for Japan's agricultural and fisheries sectors, which have been devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan in early March, as well as the ongoing problems in farming and fishing communities close to the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear reactor.
Many countries halted imports of Japanese produce in the weeks after the crisis struck and it is taking time for exports to recover and for consumers to have trust in Japanese foodstuffs.
That loss of faith is unfortunate because Japanese cuisine has earned a devoted following around the world in recent years.
Sushi restaurants have popped up in cities around the world - in part because of their healthy ingredients - while chains such as Wagamama have turned humble noodles into a huge international success story.
That growing popularity also extends to traditional Japanese drinks - such as green tea and sake - while famous chefs such as Nobu have helped spread the word about the unique cuisine of these islands.
To date, the traditional cuisines of France, Mexico and the Mediterranean have been recognized as being of important intangible cultural heritage, while Korean imperial cuisine is expected to be added to the list in November.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Scottish salmon sales leap as Asia develops a taste
Grim second life of the 'breastaurant': The oft-loathed sector is booming in the States thanks to Hooters, Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt
Health: When masturbation can be fatal: The practice of auto-erotic asphyxia is often concealed by a coroner's verdict. Monique Roffey looks at a lethal taboo
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
iJobs Food & Drink
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...