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The Mainichi Newspaper covers a report from five breweries to local Japanese government on their successes, including in the French Kura Master competition.

Masanao Ozaki, governor of Kōchi Prefecture, received representatives from five award-winning breweries on 15 December 2017: Tsukasabotan (based in Sakawa), Sento (Geisei), Hamakawa (Tano), Tosa Tsuru (Yasuda), and Arisawa (Kami).

The Sento brewery took the top spot in the junmai ginjō category of the commercial “Sake Competition” contest held in Tokyo, and Hamakawa took third place. Tsukasabotan came second in the same category in 2016.

Tosa Tsuru won the Grand Prize this year in the ginjō category of the U.S. National Sake Appraisal competition in Hawai’i, and Sento took Second Grand Prize in the junmai category. Arisawa ranked in the top 10 in the French Kura Master contest, and was awarded their platinum medal.

The five breweries told the governor what was special about their sake, and Ozaki – said to be a sake fan – commented “Fantastic. Please keep up your efforts. They’ll sell like crazy. I’ll do everything I can as well.”

Tsukasabotan’s Akihiko Takemura, who works for the Kōchi Prefecture Sake Association, added “this shows the high level of sake produced throughout Kōchi.” 

Alcohol has become a pillar of the prefecture’s food exports, worth JPY 0.17 billion in 2016 (up 21% on the previous year), second only to exports of the citrus fruit yuzu.