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G-20 cooking contest, sustainability talks to be held in giant Hello Kitty restaurant

Hello Kitty Smile, the venue for "The 1st World's King of Chefs Summit," is seen in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture, in this image provided by Pasona Group, Inc.

AWAJI, Hyogo -- An international food competition staged by representatives of G-20 summit nations and territories will take place here at a giant Hello Kitty-themed restaurant from June 24 to 26, ahead of the official meetings in neighboring Osaka Prefecture from June 28.

Culinary masters including chefs and food experts from each of the summit's localities will compete in cooking contests and discuss the state of food in what is being called "The 1st World's King of Chefs Summit, and the 9th Culinary Artists International Competition." The event is being organized by recruitment services firm Pasona Group, Inc. in cooperation with China-based food education institute Easteat Culture Industry Group.

The venue, an enormous Hello Kitty-styled Asian fusion restaurant called "Hello Kitty Smile," opened last year to much publicity. The tournament, which will be open to the public, will see chefs from across the G-20 use ingredients from Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, showing off their skills.

Discussions on food in relation to the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will also be on the table at the event, and the "Awaji Island Declaration," an action plan regarding safe and sustainable food production, is set to be adopted.

Awaji Island is famous for its onions, and supplies a bounty of produce to the Kinki region in western Japan with its extensive fishing, agricultural and livestock industries.

Yasuyuki Nambu, group CEO and representative for Pasona Group, commented, "By advancing international exchange through food, I hope we can make Awaji Island's produce better known and help boost the local economy."

(Japanese original by Katsuyuki Ijichi, Osaka Cultural News Department)

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