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ICCJ "Mame” project: Sowing the “seed” of Japan in Italian “soil”

Deepen existing knowledge and spreading new opportunities

“Mame” Project is a project aimed to help Japanese companies promote and enter the Italian market.

Parallel to the internationally well-received EXPO 2015, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan created this project to promote authentic products symbolic of Japanese culture. In the heart of Milan, ICCJ organized promotional events in restaurants, facilities, and even on the street of the city, in order to fully gain attention from consumers.

Japanese local governments that were exhibiting at EXPO were also supported by ICCJ through promotional activities outside of EXPO itself.

From June 25th to July 13th at Milans Palazzo Stelline, an extra pavilion of Japan was presented in the form of Japan Salone: a promotional event featuring various activities showcasing Japanese culture and representative products. Within a limited time frame, ICCJ successfully managed to promote B2B meetings between Italian and Japanese companies, and was able to effectively support PR activities of participating Japanese companies. A free Japanese food workshop, along with a symposium on Japanese sake, was held during the same period, featuring 6 sake breweries, prominent journalists and experts alike.

“Mame” Project also had the opportunity to promote specialty products of the prefecture of Miyazaki: from high quality wagyu beef to black garlic, participants had the chance to enjoy the tastes of Miyazaki. Held on September 1st at event space “In Kitchen Loft” in the center of Milan, chef Vittorio Fusari and cooking specialist Junko Ikuta prepared a variety of dishes to showcase Miyazaki prefecture ingredients.

From September 15th to 21st, the city of Toba in Mie prefecture, famous for their cultured pearls, also held a promotional event as a part of the Mame Project, called Sushi Tram: a tram in sushi form that ran through the city streets of Milan. The first day of the event consisted of a traditional sake barrel breaking ceremony, along with a press conference for the Italian media. The following days let participants taste “Washoku” (UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage product, Japanese traditional cuisine), along with sushi and sake prepared by Japanese chefs – all for free.

Starting with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries the event had the collaborative efforts of Mie Prefecture, Japan Sake Brewery Association and NKB inc, a Japanese PR firm. The last two days of the “Sushi Tram” was captured on film by Japanese media.

The Mame Project came to a close with a promotional event for Fukui prefecture, at event space “Spazio Bossi Clerici” in Milan. Tourism, culture and consumer goods companies participated in the B2B event, featuring products such as “washi” (Japanese paper), knives, and Buddhist food culture goods.

Italians who participated or attended the “Mame” project’s events all agree that Japans culinary culture is extremely rich and diverse. Attendees not only had the chance to experience Japanese traditional cuisine, but also had the rare opportunity to taste the healthy “Made in Japan” ingredients paired with Italian ingredients and Italian cuisine.

The Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan supports Japanese companies who wish to expand their business and export their goods, through events like the “Mame” project. Starting from September 2014, with the permission from our members, we have also opened our Milan office, allowing for Made in Japan products to be showcased with easier organization. Inside or outside Milan Expo, we hope to increase awareness about high quality Japanese products.



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