A traditional Japanese breakfast (AP Photo)
TOKYO (AP) - The United Nations cultural organization has added traditional Japanese cuisine to its cultural heritage list.
A UNESCO committee announced the decision Wednesday at a meeting in Azerbaijan.
Known as "washoku," Japan's traditional cooking embraces seasonal ingredients, a unique taste and a style of eating steeped in centuries of tradition.
Japan hopes that UNESCO recognition will both send a global message and boost efforts to save "washoku" at home.
Purists fear that Japanese are turning away from the often time-consuming traditional cooking, as fast food and western cuisine become more popular and people lead busier lives.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)