Gilad Cohen, Israel’s Ambassador to Japan, says one of the best ways to market Israel is through its cuisine. Cohen proved the truth of this statement in a recent appearance on “Embassy Dinner Party,” a program that was broadcast on the Tokyo MX network and hosted by well-known actor and comedian Ru Oshiba.
Oshiba visited Ambassador Cohen at the official residence in Tokyo. Cohen led him on a tour, showing him a silver menorah, and explaining that the ancient menorah, which stood in the Temple in Jerusalem, is today one of the official symbols of the modern State of Israel, and symbolizes freedom and independence.
Cohen and Oshiba then participated in a cultural exchange of sorts, showing Oshiba how Jews pray to God at the Western Wall and jot notes on prayers that they insert into the spaces between the stones. After informing his host that he is a fan of sumo wrestling, the pair engaged in a humorous pantomime of sumo wrestlers.
Cohen next ushered Oshiba into the dining room of the residence, where the table was set with an assortment of Israeli foods, including chopped salad, falafel, challah, goulash, shakshuka and malabi, a desert pudding made from rose water. The ambassador explained that the different foods are rooted in the different communities around the world where Jews have lived.
The Japanese television host then prepared the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for the ambassador. Ambassador Cohen informed his host he enjoys Japanese culture, food, arts, and the way of life in the country, whose hallmark is respect for others. The two countries have enjoyed fruitful diplomatic relations for seventy years, he noted, and the Ambassador looks forward to continuing and strengthening these relations in the future.