Japan’s National Tax Agency to open new export support office for sake FY2020 budget expanded to create new sales channel

TOKYO, Jan. 20 – The Japanese government is boosting the support for the export of Japanese sake, wine, and alcoholic beverages starting in fiscal 2020. The budget for the assistance will be lifted largely to accelerate the creation of new sales channels overseas, such as restaurants and retailers, through established local distributors, for example.

The National Tax Agency of Japan will set up an export promotion office in July. The new office will have 18 dedicated officers who will handle negotiations with other countries for removing rules and limits on alcoholic products from Japan and establishing a system that can make the exports easier.

The total value of sake exports from January to November 2019 was 21.1 billion yen, and the value for the full year is expected to be a record high. But still, Japan holds a tiny share in the global alcoholic beverage market. So, the government will actively support market development to give a boost.

In its supplementary budget for the fiscal year 2019 and the initial general account budget for fiscal 2020, the tax agency included 1.8 billion yen as the cost for growing overseas competitiveness and trade of Japanese sake and alcoholic beverages. The new budget is far beyond 250 million yen in the initial general account budget for fiscal 2019.

As a new initiative, Japan will place local coordinators. They can help Japanese sake and wine brewers to find local restaurants, hotels, and retail shops which will sell their products.

Also, the agency will provide business matching services to sake breweries that are willing to find domestic exporters and wholesalers. “Most of the sake breweries are small and medium-sized companies, and it’s difficult for them to develop new sales channels on their own,” according to an official from the Liquor Tax and Industry Division of the tax agency. The service will make it easier for them to earn entries into the export market.

The new office will also negotiate the ban of restrictions on containers and their capacities while protecting brands of products from domestic breweries.

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