DAVOS, SWITZERLAND – On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a sales pitch for sake produced in Fukushima Prefecture.
At the Japan Night event in Davos, Abe advertised Yamato no Kokoro, produced in Fukushima’s Aizuwakamatsu from rice that his wife, Akie, grew in Yamaguchi Prefecture, where his electoral home district is located.
In the past, it would have been unthinkable for a sake brewer in the Aizu region to use rice from Choshu — now Yamaguchi — Abe said in a speech, noting that the Aizu and Choshu domains fought against each other in a civil war amid the 1868 Meiji Restoration.
Yamato no Kokoro is a symbol of peace, he said.
“I hope you’ll enjoy Japanese food and sake, the strongest of the country’s soft powers, and visit Japan to enjoy the real stuff,” Abe said.
The prime minister was making an appearance at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting for the first time in five years. Abe made a speech at the Davos conference and stressed the need to promote free trade.
He returned to Japan on Thursday evening.