U.S. Embassy Tokyo Celebrates Independence Day

Posted by Lori Shoemaker
July 3, 2009
James Zumwalt and Yukio Hattori at Embassy Tokyo's July 4th Celebration

Secretary Clinton's 4th of July MessageAbout the Author: Lori Shoemaker serves as the Assistant Press Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

Enjoying great food is often a part of Independence Day celebrations in the United States, and it was certainly a part of our embassy’s Independence Day celebration in Tokyo, Japan, which is a competitive culinary market. Japanese today enjoy one of the highest quality food supplies and food cultures in the world, with Tokyo restaurants sporting 227 Michelin stars.

We offered our Japanese guests a wide spectrum of American foods, which this year included a special menu inspired by the First Family’s garden on the South Lawn of the White House. Some well-known figures in the world of cuisine were involved in the menu. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, who was named by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Japan office as “Honorary U.S. Food Ambassador to Japan” in recognition of his unique ability to create a special connection between American and Japanese cuisine, unveiled in advance of the event several new Independence Day menu items, including Alaskan Crab and California Rice Salad and California Green Gazpacho. At the Independence Day reception itself, Iron Chef expert commentator Yukio Hattori participated in a tasting of the menu with our Chargé James P. Zumwalt. (Chargé Zumwalt, by the way, has his own blog on our embassy website.)

The United States is foremost among reliable foreign suppliers to Japan, which imports about 60 percent of its caloric needs. Japanese companies have invested in American agriculture and purchased U.S. agricultural products for over 60 years. The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, in partnership with nearly fifty non-profit American food associations in Japan, has been in the lead of bringing what is new and exciting about American food to the Japanese people and fostering our already strong food and agricultural trading relationship.

Our Independence Day celebration also included an inspiring ceremony reaffirming our enduring and productive alliance with Japan, and recognizing the ideals of freedom, justice, and democracy shared by Japanese and American citizens. A popular Japanese-American singer sang both national anthems, the 7th Fleet Band provided great music, and our own embassy Marine Security Guards performed the Color Guard Ceremony, my favorite part of the event.

Nevertheless, on this year’s occasion celebrating America’s birthday, I feel that we best expressed our sincere appreciation to our guests through the delicious food made with American ingredients.



New York, USA
July 3, 2009

Joe in New York writes:

This past school year, I was enrolled in a study abroad program at a university near Osaka. During the nine months I lived there, there were a few occasions when I had the pleasure of making Buffalo wings for some of my Japanese friends and housemates. (Well, as best as I could make them without a deep fryer...) It says a lot about the kindred spirit of humanity that we could bond over something as simple as chicken in hot sauce with a side of daikon and melon pan. Maybe someday I'll be back to attempt a Buffalo chicken yakisoba!

Gochisousama :)

Eric S.
July 3, 2009

Eric S. writes:

I'm leaving this comment just as a test.

Maryland, USA
July 4, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hello, Everyone :)

********Happy Fourth OF July !!!****

It sounds like everyone had a great time at the 4th of July celebration in Tokyo,Japan. I liked your new menu. The Alaskan Crab is one of my favorite foods . I think this fourth of July is very special for us all. "Happy Birthday America"

Thanks for posting the Nice Photo,The food looks good.:)

Have a Great 4th of July Cya :)

Virginia, USA
July 5, 2009

Thomas in Virginia writes:

Well young Lady, Keep up the good work;even the 1905 Portsmouth Conference included a full range of diplomatic dining opportunities. May the Spirit of the Great White Fleet live on. Mr Blake

July 6, 2009

DipNote Blogger Lori Shoemaker writes:

Thanks, folks, for your nice comments on the blog. I especially liked Joe in New York's story about making buffalo wings in Osaka. I believe that all Americans have the chance to serve as "person-to-person" diplomats for the U.S. when we are traveling, living, or studying overseas (or when we come into contact with visitors to the U.S.). I'm sure your spicy wings made a positive lasting impression.

July 7, 2009

Derek in Japan writes:

This year my family and I spend our first 4th of July away from the U.S. We celebrated in our apartment as I could not find information on a public U.S. Embassy hosted event. What gives? Did I fail at using the internet or was there really no bbq and fireworks? :(

July 13, 2009

Johnson writes:

All good,,,,,,,,,,,,


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