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Focus on seafood for Norwegian PM on visit to Japan

Press Release   •   Feb 16, 2018 08:49 GMT

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg learns the art of sushi making from chef Tsutomu Shimamiya

This week, the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, to honor the unique relationship between Japan and Norway. High on the agenda was how these two ocean nations can work even closer together in the future, and further strengthen mutually beneficial trade relations, also within the seafood category.

- The visit marks an important step towards even stronger ties in the future. Japan and Norway already have a special relationship when it comes to seafood, and we are keen for this collaboration to continue evolving, says Gunvar Lenhard Wie, Country Director for the Norwegian Seafood Council in Japan.

Celebrated special union

The marriage between Norwegian seafood and Japanese culinary tradition is already a worldwide phenomenon and the Norwegian prime minister celebrated this very special union during a visit to sushi restaurant Sushizen in Tokyo.

The seafood-loving prime minister met with renowned sushi chef Tsutomu Shimamiya at his restaurant Sushizen in Ginza on Wednesday afternoon, and learned more about Japanese sushi tradition and heritage. In the presence of both Norwegian and Japanese media, she also had the chance to try making some salmon sushi from the award winning chef. She was the first woman ever to step behind the sushi counter with the chef, who’s career in sushi making spans an impressive 60 years.

- It was interesting to learn you need cold hands to make sushi. I think my hands are too warm, the Prime Minister laughed after attempting to make her first ever salmon nigiri, and expressed respect for the esteemed profession which takes years to master.

Many prospective areas of collaboration

Earlier in the week Mrs Solberg told the Norwegian national broadcaster, NRK, about the desire to further strengthen the bonds and mutually beneficial collaborations in the future.

- Japan is a large and important marked for us, especially for export of seafood. Norway and Japan are strong seafood nations with many prospective areas of collaboration, Prime Minister Solberg told the broadcaster.

Pictured from the left: Owner and chef Tsutomu Shimamiya, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, sushi chef Ishizugawa, NSC Director in Japan Gunvar Lenhard Wie.

The Norwegian Seafood Council works with the Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture industries to develop markets for Norwegian seafood through local market intelligence, market development and reputational risk management. The Seafood Council is headquartered in Tromsø and maintains local representatives in twelve of Norway's most important international markets. The Norwegian seafood industry finances the activities of the Norwegian Seafood Council via a tariff on all Norwegian seafood exports.

The Norwegian Seafood Council is a public company owned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.