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A short but interesting piece from the Nikkei financial newspaper about Niigata Prefecture providing some active support for its sake breweries.

The support is for sake PR directed at overseas markets and foreigners visiting Japan, with the paying a portion of the costs for breweries who export and enter international competitions.

Faced with falling domestic consumption, the prefecture hopes that financial support will help boost its own sake brands abroad and increase name recognition. The subsidy is capped at JPY 250,000 and must account for 50% or less of the necessary expenses. The prefecture has already started looking for companies to support, and will continue to do so until its budget of JPY 6,000,000 is exhausted.

The subsidy can also be used to advertise to overseas tourists visiting Niigata, including multi-language web sites and linking up with travel agencies to create brewery tours. Niigata Prefecture isn’t limiting itself to PR for sake, and is also providing support for attracting foreign tourists to the prefecture – which will in turn benefit the breweries.