BANGKOK, 30 September 2013: Yokohama City in Japan will host the ASEAN Festival 2013 on October 5 and 6. Eighty thousand people are expected to attend the open-air event, which will showcase the variety and delightful flavours of ASEAN cuisine. Live music, cultural performances, handicraft displays, and diplomatic representation from ASEAN member states will also feature.
The festival is being organized by the ASEAN-Japan Centre to commemorate 40 years of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation. The festival has been designed to look and feel like an ASEAN market. Twenty chefs are being flown in from ASEAN countries to lead culinary demonstrations and tastings of iconic ASEAN food dishes. Licensed ASEAN restaurants,retailers and embassies of ASEAN member states will also be present.
Of the 65 booths, 30 will be dedicated to ASEAN food and beverage.
"ASEAN cuisine reflects Southeast Asia's diverse culture and traditions," said Dananjaya Axioma (pictured above), Director of the ASEAN-Japan Centre. "ASEAN's indigenous cooking techniques and ingredients have evolved with India, China, the Middle East and Europe all having an influence. People in Japan can taste the best of ASEAN at the festival," he said.
The 20 chefs — two from each ASEAN member state — will prepare signature national dishes in the "Local Cuisine of ASEAN" booth at the festival. Food from Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar is rarely seen in Japan.
Hien Thuc, a popular singer from Vietnam and Over Dance, a Lao pop group, will perform, as will musicians and dancers from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia and Singapore.
In 2012, four million Japanese visited ASEAN destinations. Sampling ASEAN food is consistently rated as a high priority among Japanese travellers to ASEAN countries. Some 4.2 million Japanese are expected to visit ASEAN member states in 2013, according to forecasts by the Pacific Asia Travel Association.
ASEAN Festival 2013
Japan and ASEAN's formal relationship started in 1973. Many formal institutional links have since followed. The Japan-ASEAN Centre opened in 1981.This year marks the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation.
"The ASEAN Festival 2013 is the right time and place to celebrate 40 years of partnership," said Axioma. "Enjoying food, drinks and entertainment together and buying ASEAN products is the perfect way to reaffirm ASEAN-Japan friendship and compatibility," he said.
The ASEAN Festival 2013 takes place at Omatsuri Hiroba, Yamashita Park in Yokohama on Saturday and Sunday October 5-6 from 10.00 to 19.00. Admission is free.
Full details of the event (PDF).