Japan plans to allow new producers into the tightly regulated sake brewing industry, to increase exports of the traditional alcoholic beverage.
Sake brewing has always been strictly regulated but now brewing licenses will be given to new entrants producing sake exclusively for export.
According to Japan’s current liquor tax law, a sake maker is must produce at least 60,000 litres a year at each brewery.
The government has been trying to expand exports of food from Japan, including farm products. Domestic markets are continuing to shrink as the population falls. Export demand for sake has been increasing as Japanese cuisine becomes more popular.
In 2018 sake exports hit a record high for the ninth consecutive year;export value reached 22.23 billion yen ($202 million).