G7 foreign ministers munched dined sea urchins as they discussed China2 min read
US upgrades Taiwan with newer Patriot missiles
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly sat down with his G7 counterparts from the world’s main democracies on Sunday night to discuss a ballistic missile shot towards Japan from North Korea and the threat to Taiwan from China. But the Japanese hosts in the resort town of Karuizawa laid on an amazing banquet.
The host – Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi – laid on a series of appetisers to open the feast at the five-star Prince Hotel in Karuizawa in the Nagano region.
These included Nagano-grown strawberries, Kyoho grapes and walnut with tofu-based sauce; dried ichida kaki persimmons; shinshu salmon with aromatic vegetables kelp-cured white asparagus; seared sea urchin; Japanese pepper leaf-miso; and glazed tofu steamed rice with runner beans.
Just like the conversation on the Taiwan Straits, the meal was only just getting started.
As the conversation heated up on Indo-Pacific security with Mr Cleverly engaged in talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock, the second course arrived of steamed dishes.
These included a cream cheese-miso custard cup made from fresh cheese and eggs from Nagano; steamed abalone; prawn, green soybeans and thick dashi sauce.
Questions have been asked of the French over President Macron’s trip to China recently where he appeared to be too friendly with President Xi and relaxed about the fate of Taiwan.
Those questions may have been thrown at the French foreign minister Catherine Colonna as the grilled course of the menu was served.
This involved salt-grilled rosy seabass from the Sea of Japan; tempura of Fatsia sprouts and ostrich fern butterbur miso sauce; with seared apple-fed shinshu beef fillet with Nagano Merlot soy sauce.
No Japanese banquet is complete without Sushi and the fourth course for the ministers around the table was the famous raw fish and rice dishes.
This involved tuna with azumino wasabi; Shinshu salmon with apple miso; fresh Shiitake mushrooms with mustard; fried nozawana greens roll; and Shinshu miso soup with mushrooms.
The diners used chopsticks as they listened to Minister Hayashi emphasize the importance of continuing dialogue with Chinabut calling for Beijing to act as a responsible member of the international community.
As the ministers turned to North Korea, the desserts arrived.
The course was certainly sweeter than the discussion where the Japanese foreign minister spoke of the recent ballistic shot by North Korea in the direction of his country.
The food consisted of farm-produced Jersey milk ice cream and kudzu mochi cakes; coconut milk made from Yatsugatake milk with brown sugar syrup.
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