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Japan's chefs must take test for licenses to serve puffer fish

Nationwide rules meant to put potentially deadly fugu on foreign tables

Fugu sashimi is typically served in thin slices. Eating the dish can be deadly if the poisonous parts are not removed properly. (Photo by Takumi Sasaki)

TOKYO -- Japan aims to increase exports of its famed fugu, or puffer fish, by creating a standard test nationwide designed to ensure safety in the preparation of the potentially deadly delicacy.

The new license requirements from the health ministry are intended to confirm that those who prepare fugu know how to remove the poisonous parts of the fish. At present, requirements can differ for each local government, and cooks possess varying skill sets and knowledge.

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