TOKYO -- A strategic public-private fund promoting Japanese culture overseas will open in Singapore a food court specializing in the nation's cuisine.
The site, slated to open in July inside an Isetan Department Store, will house 15 eateries. The establishments will include sushi, tempura and other restaurants as well as a bar serving sake.
A local concern in which the Cool Japan Fund has a 70%, or 700 million yen ($6.44 million), stake will manage the food court.
The 15 restaurants will procure the bulk of their ingredients from Japan. The ingredients will be first shipped to Naha Airport in Okinawa Prefecture, from where they will be air-lifted to Singapore. This bulk procurement will slash shipping expenses by roughly 50%.
In addition to helping Japanese restaurant operators that do not have the financial wherewithal to set up shop overseas, the fund aims to showcase the high quality of Japanese ingredients to local patrons.
The fund is working with transport company Kawasaki Kisen to build refrigeration and freezer warehouses in Vietnam to store Japanese farm produce and other ingredients. By creating a logistics network to distribute fresh farm products throughout Asia, the fund hopes to open similar restaurant facilities in other parts of Asia.