July 1, 2016 Vol. 12, No. 9

Taste of Japan

It's well established that Japanese cuisine continues to grow in popularity, but the numbers are still startling: Last year, there were about 89,000 Japanese restaurants overseas, 22,000 of those being in the US! To celebrate the products that have led to such success, the Embassy hosted an “Evening of Food & Agriculture”.

The event featured a cross-section of the tasty items that have garnered so many fans across the globe, like Wagyu beef, Uonuma Koshihikaru rice, and fresh yellowtail. Japanese drinks were also represented, including the “Dassai” brand sake that was used as President Obama's toast during Prime Minister Abe's state dinner in DC in April 2015.

In addition to remarks from Deputy Chief of Mission Atsuyuki Oike, DC restaurateur Daisuke Utagawa gave remarks about the growth of Japanese cuisine in the US, and the care that Japanese farmers and industry take in cultivating the ingredients.

Periodic Table Element
#113 Nihonium

Element Number 113

After going through a period of public review, "Nihonium” is slated to enter the Periodic Table as element 113! The suggested name for the new element, abbreviated as “NH,” stems from Japan's Japanese name because the element was discovered by a group of scientists at RIKEN, one of Japan's largest comprehensive research institution, who successfully synthesized it on 3 separate occasions thanks to RIKEN's RI Beam factory and the RILAC linear accelerator.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) granted naming rights to the research group led by Dr. Kosuke Morita. Counselor Arai, an official at the Japanese Embassy, commented that “Dr. Morita's team is the first group in Asia to have discovered a new element and then earned the naming rights to it. This is very symbolic in showing Japan's high research capability and will hopefully lead to an increased awareness of Japan's scientific prowess all over the world.”

Offical logo of
the PokémonCompany

Pokémon's Economic Success

-San Antonio, TX

Since the hit video game and anime series came ashore in 1998, the Pokémon franchise has given American fans a deep connection to Japan. With the recent announcement that the newest Pokémon game will take place in the Hawaii-inspired fictional land of “Alola” and will be released simultaneously across the world in 9 languages, it seems like another generation of children from both countries will have a chance to forge new connections!

The Pokémon franchise has made around $40 billion USD since its inception, which makes it one of the most successful franchises worldwide. Nintendo, as a company, has also done its part for the U.S. economy: Its North American headquarters in Washington State employs almost 1,400 people.

Embassy Chef at the Ambassador's Residence

“There are actually three types of fish in this dish,” the ‪Embassy Chef explained. “You probably noticed the ainame (greenling), but we also mixed anchovies in with the cabbage underneath it, and added bonito flakes to the Brussels sprouts on the corner of the plate.” This dish also includes a pickled radish and tomato kabob and Chinese broccoli.