The IOC has officially launched its new campaign to promote olive oil on 2 July at a reception held in the famous restaurant Enju in the Japanese capital, in the heart of the Happo-en gardens. More than one hundred journalists and representatives of the diplomatic corps from 14 countries attended the press conference organized by the IOC in collaboration with the public relations agency MSL Japan selected through a call for tenders to implement this campaign tentatively scheduled until the end of 2016. The presence of two famous Japanese actors Junichi Ishida and Shoko Aida as ambassadors in Japan has made the media headlines. On the program of the launch event: a lecture on the health benefits of olive oil by Dr. Matsuike, a specialist in internal medicine and gastroenterology and an olive oil tasting.
Professionals from media and industry then joined with importers and representatives of Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Consumer Agency to enjoy a culinary experience showcasing olive oil at a cooking show given by renowned Japanese Chef Tamura, the third generation of the Tsukiji Tamura restaurant famed for its kaiseki cuisine. Kaiseki is a meal inspired by the Shinto tradition, consisting of a succession of small dishes of seasonal products - sashimi, vegetables, fish, soup, rice, etc. - often decorated with flowers, herbs or leaves, served in small individual plates that make up a culinary picture. In this occasion, all of the dishes had been prepared with olive oil.
The aim of this new campaign is to introduce new flavours to the Japanese audience and to show how olive oil can be incorporated as a healthy, tasty ingredient in traditional Japanese cuisine. The presence of members of the local authorities dovetails with IOC promotional strategy in Japan in that it will allow the IOC to promote its marketing standard and to encourage its application in Japan. Three representatives of the Executive Secretariat - the Executive Director, the Deputy Director and the Head of the Unit of Promotion of the IOC Executive Secretariat - had traveled to welcome the 200 guests who attended the event.