ZADAR, 4 February 2020 – The Zadar Tourist Board has received high recognition from the Japanese Foreign Minister for contribution to furthering relations between Croatia and Japan through the “Tuna, Sushi & Wine Festival” project, which has been held in Zadar since 2015.
On Tuesday, the Japanese Ambassador to Croatia, Her Excellency Misako Kaji, presented the director of the Zadar Tourist Board, Mario Paleka, with the honour at a ceremony at Rector’s Palace in Zadar.
Before the presentation, a short documentary about the “Tuna, Sushi & Wine Festival” was screened, summarising all festival events overt the past five years.
In her address, Ambassador Kaji emphasised that this recognition by the Japanese Foreign Minister is given to individuals and organisations for their contribution to the advancement of Japan and other countries. Kaji called the “Tuna, Sushi & Wine Festival” a “distinctive sign of the Zadar Spring” and emphasised:
“Tuna from Croatia is very well received and appreciated in Japan as a valuable ingredient in sushi, accounting for half of Croatia’s exports to Japan, and the festival brought Japan and Croatia closer to Zadar, bringing the Japanese culture closer to these areas. That is why I believe that the “Tuna, Sushi & Wine Festival” will continue to be organised in Zadar”she said, adding that some Croatian wines also have found their place in the Japanese market thanks to the festival.
Paleka said: “This recognition confirms the importance and value of the Festival and the efforts of the Zadar Tourist Board. The basic prerequisite for the development of such a project is cooperation at all levels, from local to national and international. The festival, among other things, was a finalist last year in the selection for the Tourism Event of the Year at the Days of Croatian Tourism, all of which confirms the long-term thinking of my predecessors Messrs. Supa and Rados to create, expand and enhance the festival.”
The award ceremony was attended by, among others, Ines Stranja, Member of Parliament and President of the Inter-Parliamentary Croatian-Japanese Friendship Group; Head of Sector for Eurasia, Eastern Partnership, Asia and Oceania at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Drazen Margeta; Ivan Vodopivec, Honorary Consul of Japan in Split; Zadar Mayor Branko Dukic; Zadar Chamber of Commerce President Dario Jurin; president and CEO of “Kali Tuna” Jiro Kamba; Director of the Zadar County Tourist Board Mihaela Kadija and representatives of other Zadar tuna companies.