The International Olive Council (IOC) has announced plans to launch its “Believe in Oil” campaign in Tokyo on July 2, 2015.

According to the latest IOC newsletter, the launch will include a series of events, starting with a press conference for Japanese media which will include a lecture on the health benefits of olive oil by Dr. Tsuneo Matsuike, a specialist in internal medicine and gastroenterology. This will be followed by an olive oil tasting and a lunch reception at the Happo-en restaurant in Tokyo. The event will conclude with a talk by a “celebrity olive oil ambassador” appointed for the campaign.

The IOC announcement did not mention budget figures for the new campaign.

A cooking show is also in the plans as part of the campaign featuring the chef Tamura, a third-generation chef at the Tokyo restaurant Tsukiji Tamura, with invitees including media and industry professionals as well as importers and representatives of the Japanese government, the IOC said.

The IOC campaign in Japan aims to promote olive oil and its health benefits while introducing new flavors for use in traditional Japanese cuisine. The initiative, the IOC said, is also an opportunity to promote the agency’s marketing standard and encourage its application in Japan.

According to the IOC newsletter, for the first six months of the 2014/2015 crop year imports of olive oil increased by 9 percent in Japan over the same period last year, with almost all of the gain happening in March. Japan is the second biggest non-EU importer of olive oil from Spain after the U.S., and the third biggest non-EU importer of Italian olive oil.

Last year, Japan consumed 51,000 tons of olive oil, according to IOC figures, or about 400 ml (13.5 oz) per person.

More articles on: , , ,