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Rice wine makers hope to promote sake overseas

Rice wine producers hope to boost exports as interest in Japan's cuisine grows overseas

Published on Jun 18, 2014 11:55 AM
Japan’s top sake producers with celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda (centre, in brown), who is also a sake ambassador. -- PHOTO: MARINA BAY SANDS

A group of Japan's sake ambassadors and top sake producers hope that the country's rice wine will gain as much popularity around the world as sushi.

While sake exports have more than doubled since 2001, from about 7,000 kilolitres to more than 14,000 kilolitres in 2012, exports make up only about 2 per cent of total production, statistics from Japan's National Tax Agency show.

The potential for growth in the export of sake coupled with the decline in popularity of the beverage among younger Japanese in Japan's domestic market are pushing some leading producers to take their traditional alcoholic beverage overseas.

Producers from nine sake breweries, from prefectures which span Yamagata to Saga, including breweries such as Masuda Sake Company in Toyama prefecture and Shata Shuzo Company in Ishikawa prefecture, say that what is needed to drive interest in the beverage is exposure.

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