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News site Jiji reports on the first sake appraisal held in China, with 140 labels on the table looking to increase their export routes.

The “First Asian International Great Sake Contest in China” was held on commercial premises in Beijing on 24 August 2018.

62 breweries from 24 prefectures sent 140 bottles to the contest, with approximately 1,000 Chinese attendees tasting them over a three-day period.

The event was hosted by the Japan Rice and Rice Industry Export Promotion Association (JRE), which consists of Japanese agricultural cooperatives and brewing companies. Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kōtarō Nogami attended the event, commenting that he hoped Chinese guests would visit the area where their favourite sake was produced when they came to Japan. The vice-president of the Chinese Food Processors Association was also of the opinion that the event would introduce sake to more Chinese consumers, who would then come to like it.

The results of the competition will be announced on 25 September 2018. Exports of sake to China reached JPY 2.7 billion in 2017, putting it in third place after North America and Hong Kong. The first half of 2018 has already seen an increase of 70%, totalling JPY 1.8 billion. The JRE puts the rise down to more Japanese restaurants on the Chinese mainland.