Survey Reports

"Love, Japanese Food" Campaign was held in Hong Kong.

May, 2011

Publicizing the stringent food inspection system

The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has been implementing radiation examination for all imported food from Japan to verify its safety. Foodstuff which passes this examination is issued an inspection certificate from the government's Centre for Food Safety, however this is not well known among the general population.

With this situation in mind, the two associations implemented a large-scale promotional campaign for Japanese food, which was entitled "Love, Japanese Food: a 50% discount with 100% safety". This campaign aimed to attract customers by offering half-price dishes or issuing coupons worth a 50% discount. The participating shops also displayed a poster (Picture 1) advertising the safety of Japanese food, and displayed a sample of the inspection certificate in hopes of restoring consumer faith in the cuisine.


A poster advertising the safety of Japanese food


The campaign was started with “kagami-biraki” (a traditional Japanese practice of splitting a barrel of sake with a hammer, making a wish for luck and success)

Hong Kong VIPs demonstrate the safety of Japanese food

In kicking off the campaign, a dinner party was held on May 23 for prominent guests that included high-level government officials of the HKSAR such as Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam Kuen, members of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and the Consul General of Japan (Picture 2). All ingredients for the dishes served were imported from Japan. The menu consisted mainly of items containing seafood (something that had particularly raised concerns over safety) like sushi and sashimi, and also included dishes like tempura and teppan-yaki.

Most of the Hong Kong based media were present for the event, and coverage of celebrities relishing Japanese dishes was broadcast on television and published in newspapers. The Chief Executive, who says Japanese cuisine is his favorite next to Chinese, made an appeal to the citizens of Hong Kong, stating "Imported Japanese food has already undergone examination for safety in Japan. On top of this, the government in Hong Kong conducts its own thorough inspection upon arrival". The chairman of the association, who hosted the event, also said, "I believe we were able to convey to consumers that Japanese food is safe through scenes of high-level government officials themselves enjoying Japanese food and making favorable comments."

The campaign*, in which around 300 local- and Japan-based Japanese restaurants and retailers participated, was held every Wednesday for about a month.

* Official website of the campaignExternal site: a new window will open. (Chinese only)