The Japanese government is in deep discussions with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) and Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) to increase exports of agricultural products and foods to India.
Indicative of the growing popularity of Japanese cuisine in India, food exports from the East Asian nation jumped 40 per cent in 2018. It is vehemently working with various entities to further enhance this and has conferred a government-authenticated tag on 36 fine diners.
Japan has already signed MoU with FSSAI, last October on food safety at the annual summit meeting, and are currently in discussions on improving the management system of food imports to India. While with MoAFW, they are having discussions on exporting Japanese apples and pears to India.
Also last year, Japan reached an agreement with India on the sanitary certificate of fishery products exported from Japan to India. Following this, in 2018, the export of Japanese food from Japan to India increased to about 1.3 billion Japanese yen (about Rs 833 million), which translates to a more than 40 per cent increase compared to 900 million Japanese yen (about Rs 580 million) in 2016.
For Japanese restaurants in India, the availability of Japanese ingredients and drinks from Japan are essential. Therefore, in order to promote Japanese food in India, at the same time, is establishing an ecosystem where Indian outlets can have easy access to Japanese ingredients and drinks.
Until last year, the number of certified Japanese Food Supporters, a tag granted by the Japan External Trade Organisation to fine diners, was only one in India, but now, the number has dramatically increased and 36 are certified in India, including 16 which were certified in February.
Currently, there are quite a number of Japanese restaurants operating in major cities of India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai, because of the increasing number of Japanese expats and also the growing awareness of Japanese food, especially among young Indians.