News site Jiji reports on an initiative by the non-profit organisation Kokushu Shien Jigyō Dantai (National Drinks Support Project Group), also known as Sakeness.
The group is preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by launching products aimed at overseas visitors looking for gifts to bring home – in this case a range called SAKEMARK consisting of badges with designs taken from the labels of Japanese sake, shōchū and awamori.
The group’s aim is to support traditional Japanese drinks by putting these designs onto everyday items like badges or mobile phone straps, making them visible outside of the usual environment of bars or restaurants, having them available as a souvenir of drinking a specific drink, and raising awareness before the influx of visitors expected for the Olympic Games.
The site selling the badges opened on 6 January 2018. A special pack was offered to celebrate, containing any three badges plus a special “restoration” badge, with 10% of the revenue being donated to restoration projects for affected breweries. (Although there’s nothing specific in the article, I assume this refers to the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011.)
The group aims to celebrate and revive Japan’s traditional drinks culture; conduct surveys and research, communicate the results and provide information; support individuals and groups involved with producing, selling and transporting traditional drinks; aim to develop the drinks culture, revitalise social and economic activities related to sake, and contribute to society. (The last one has been on every Japanese corporate social responsibility document I’ve ever seen, so it may be more a box-ticking exercise than anything else.)
See the article and related sites for photos!