The Mainichi Shinbun reports on a brewery close to the edge. The Kochi brewery in Ino, Kochi Prefecture has made an application to the Kochi district court under the Japanese Civil Rehabilitation Act, which covers restructuring businesses in financial difficulty.
Despite having accumulated serious debt, the brewery will continue operating and brewing its well-known sake Takiarashi (瀧嵐, waterfall storm).
According to the Kochi branch of the Teikoku Databank corporate credit database company, the Kochi brewery’s total debts as of September 2017 were around JPY 350 million. The brewery applied on 19 December 2017, and the court decided to start proceedings under the act on 27 December 2017. However, the brewery is still in operation after receiving support from the GLION Group in Kobe, who provide assistance to car dealerships and food and drink companies.
The Kochi brewery was established in 1944, after a system of government control during World War II which merged 28 breweries in Kochi city and the neighbouring Nagaoka, Agawa, and Tosa districts. Takiarashi originally belonged to one of those breweries. The Kochi brewery produced sake and liqueurs, but struggled to compete. Ishiguro Mitsuhiro (70) became company president in 2015, and decided on reconstruction. He commented that his choice was based on aspirations for future expansion overseas.
GLION Group has already taken other sake breweries around the country under its wing. According to its site, the Tanaka brewery in Miyagi Prefecture (makers of Manatsuru, 真鶴), Arashiyama brewery in Yamagata Prefecture (makers of Hanamusume 花娘 and Shirogane Zaō 白銀蔵王), and the Asakura brewery in Fukuoka Prefecture (makers of Miyoshi Masamune 三吉正宗) are all members of the group.