Vantage Point/ South Korean Ambassador Hopes to Try All Types of Japanese Ramen

Courtesy of the South Korean Embassy in Japan
South Korean Ambassador to Japan Yun Dukmin

South Korean Ambassador to Japan Yun Dukmin, 63, is a big fan of ramen and posts videos of himself eating at different shops on the embassy’s social media account.

Yun said he fell in love with Japanese ramen about 30 years ago while studying at Keio University. When he went to a popular restaurant near the university and ate ramen containing a lot of garlic and fat, it completely changed the image he had of Japanese food being healthy.

When he had miso ramen at a shop near his dormitory, he noticed it had a rich flavor. The ambassador said he was fascinated with the wide variety of ramen.

Even after university, Yun continued to enjoy different types of ramen whenever he visited Japan, including the Kyushuregion’s tonkotsu pork-broth ramen and Fukushima Prefecture’s Kitakata ramen.

Yun has been eating ramen about twice a week since assuming his post in July. He said his current favorite is ramen made with niboshi dried fish broth. His goal is to eat ramen from every region in Japan.

By posting the videos, Yun hopes that Japan-South Korea relations, which have been described as the worst they have ever been since World War II, will improve. The number of travelers between the two countries has also been declining amid the pandemic.

“I want to create an environment in which people from both countries can have meaningful exchanges,” Yun said.

Vantage Point is a series of interviews with people who have come to Japan from around the world, showcasing their impressions of life in Japan and tales from their homelands. It was launched this April, with new articles to be carried on an irregular basis.