Sun, Dec 11, 2016 | updated 05:25 PM IST

Japan strengthens foreign ties by promoting sports and culture

Updated: Aug 11, 2016 07:52 IST

Tokyo / Kyoto (Japan), Aug 11 (ANI): Nguyen Cong Phuong is a popular Vietnamese soccer player, who plays for Japanese club Mito HollyHock.

A large number of Vietnamese tourists flock to Japan with an aim to extend their support to Nguyen, who is considered as one of the most promising football talents of the country.

Along with watching soccer games, sightseeing and shopping are also part of the tour. Japan has witnessed an increase in the number of Vietnamese tourists visiting the country over the past few years.

"I am glad to see supporters coming from Vietnam. It almost feels like I'm playing in my home country," said Nguyen

"Including the friendship with Ibaraki Prefecture, when it comes to inbound tourism, the creation of the event was largely based on the existence of the Ibaraki airport, J-league, and Mito Hollyhock. In an overview of this area, we would like to establish its center image in our Asian strategy by emphasizing J-league and Ibaraki Prefecture," said Kunio Numata, the president of Mito Hollyhock.

"In order to have more tourists visit us, Ibaraki needs to be known. We would like to make more trips to the tourist's home country, make more appeals and actively interact with the people there," said Ibaraki Prefectural Government official Toshiyuki Sakakibara.

Based on founder Kazuo Inamori's personal experiences, Kyocera Corporation organizes intercultural activities for children's growth.

Recently, ten middle school students from Vietnam are being invited to Kyoto.

"The Japanese students are nice, kind and friendly. We communicated pleasantly," said a Vietnamese student.

"I think we conveyed the message of how importantly we think about good manners. I think Vietnamese students are amazing. I would like to visit Vietnam in the future," said a Japanese student.

"By experiencing foreign cultures and values, it has deepened my understanding towards Japanese technology and culture. I am looking forward to becoming a person who can play an active role and contribute to the international society in the future," said Truong Viet Hung, who works with the Kyocera Vietnam Co Ltd.

Japan is also promoting its traditional food practice in foreign countries.

Each year, chefs from all over the world participate in Washoku World Challenge to improve their skills.

Its organizer, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan intends to promote authentic Washoku.

Participants have their opinion to make Washoku cuisine.

"Indian and Pakistani food is amazing. I love it. But it is always nice to try to difference like Washoku. It is simple food, taste is natural," said Usman Khan, a chef from Pakistan.

"We are trying to create something original. We are trying Japanese and loco put it together," said Allan C Aranas, a Philippines chef.

"Japan has 4 seasons. Each season has its own ingredients. The reason for cooking certain dishes is important. Japanese Washoku cuisine has its own historical base and functions. When participants arrive at this event they should absorb spiritual back ground. My restaurant has a counter and an open kitchen. Participants can study skill of kitchen knife and how to cook soup stock bowl. Umami of bonito and seaweeds are paid attention all over the world. I hope they try to taste it and an aroma. Finally just boiled rice is served. I hope they will feel and recognize it," said Masahiro Kasahara, the owner and chef of popular Japanese restaurant Sanpi-ryoron.

The Washoku World Challenge has been established as the biggest authorized Japanese cuisine competition.

The Washoku World is the password for foreign Washoku chefs to get significant success. (ANI)