When you think that the politicians can’t possibly find any other way to waste your tax yen…
It appears that the Japanese Agriculture ministry is finalizing plans to send agents around the world to certify restaurants that are serving authentic Japanese cuisine. There seems to be a number of restaurants around the world that claim to be Japanese, but don’t sell authentic Japanese style food. I’m not sure what the criteria are for “authentic;” the commission will probably start their work in April, and I hope I can get a list of the criteria then.
I mean let’s face it, accept for chestnuts, acorns, wild boar, and some other wild animals, everything has been imported from somewhere else and improved on over the years. For example, is tempura Japanese or a Portuguese import? Wet-paddy rice itself didn’t reach Japan from Asia until around 300B.C. Over the years Japanese food has evolved differently over the archipelago.
If it were a private organization, I would get it, but they are going to spend our taxes on this charade. I have been to several Japanese restaurants in the US, and they all seem to have their little quirks that I would not expect to find in Japan. For example, I went to one restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona where the food was served in courses. First something like a salad, then the miso soup, then the rice and main dish. I would expect everything to be served at once in Japan. Then I went to a place in Georgia where the management shouted unintelligible syllables as customers walked in the door, probably to imitate the “irashaimase” greeting that one would receive at a Japanese establishment. The food wasn’t great, and the management wasn’t Japanese, but what are the Sushi Police going to do, expect everyone to give a blood test to be checked for Japanese genes?
The best case senario is that it would give customers a guide for good food. Any newspaper in any country could do that though, and without my tax money.