The government plans to adopt an ambitious certification system for chefs of Japanese cuisine, or washoku, in a bid to guarantee quality at establishments that purport to serve Japanese fare overseas.

The program will require would-be washoku chefs to attend some degree of training in Japan, ranging from a short course of a couple of days to an apprenticeship-like service of several years to give them a grounding in food preparation and customer service.

Genres such as sushi and tempura are already massive industries worldwide, but some purists turn their noses up at the result: Sushi in Moscow may arrive served with mayonnaise while dishes in many "Japanese" restaurants in Paris may be slammed on the table by Chinese staff.