In these times of economic hardship and political tension, the Yahoo! Japan Ramen project proves that a humble noodle can help bring people together.

The project, launched this summer with the goal of promoting ramen around the world, has completed its first phase: selecting nine Japan-based foreigners who, over the coming months, will spread the joy of noodles by making videos, conducting tours and compiling a cooking guide for likeminded food-lovers overseas.