Jiji Press JERUSALEM (Jiji Press) — Chocolates served to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a dessert at a dinner hosted by his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem have caused a controversy as they were offered in a shoe-shaped metal container.
The dessert drew criticism from Israeli media and citizens as being disrespectful to the leader of Japan, where there is a custom of taking off shoes at the door.
Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, hosted Abe and his wife, Akie, for the dinner at their residence on Wednesday.
A chef at the prime minister’s residence, a well-known cook in Israel, posted on Instagram a photograph of the dessert in question. He received many critical comments, including one saying that the dessert was “a blatant cultural faux pas that embarrasses Israel on a global scale.”
According to the Israeli media, the chef argued back that Abe and his wife enjoyed the meal, especially the dessert.
The Israeli prime minister’s office explained that it did not check what was to be served at the dinner in advance and that the dessert was part of the chef’s creativity.
The Israeli Embassy in Japan said it would refrain from commenting on the dinner that was hosted by Netanyahu and his wife on a personal basis. But the embassy said it has been told that Abe and his wife enjoyed the dinner.Speech