Regions

Japan Will Promote Wine-Tourism Industry to Revive Economy in Disaster Zone

March 10
1:27 AM 2016

Japan considered wine industry to be a good way to revive economy in northeastern part of the country, in the area devastated by tsunami. A winery is pioneered in Miyagi prefecture, a new area from major Japanese wine producing regions.

Although the soil of Japan lacks the favorable substance to grow grapes, the demand for locally produced wine is growing. In general, Japanese soil has a shortfall in stony, limestone soil, furthermore dry weather needed to produce a grape is also deficient. This condition also applied to soil and weather in the area near Fukushima which demolished in the 2011 disaster.

However, Japanese government has committed to boost the economy in the northeastern area of Japan has been the most conomically depressed regions. Wine indstry is considered as good option to bring abandon land to productivity and revive the economy.

Akiu Winery, located in the outskirt of Sendai was opened in December with financial help from the Mitsubishi Corp. Disaster Relief Foundation. The winery is a pioneer in wine-tourism industry in the Miyagi prefecture, 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Tokyo.

The winery is operated by Chikafusa Mohri, an architect whose long career was a renosned designer of hot-spring baths or Onsen. "If you make one winery, there is a ripple effect," he said in an interview with Bloomberg.

 "People come and support the local restaurants and industries. Especially right now, when Japan is undergoing a wine boom."

Japan is recognized as the most advanced Asian winemaking nation. Eddie McDougall, a famous TV host of The Flying Winemaker, aired in TLC Asia also acknowledged that. In his recent column for Time Out, he wrote, "Viticulturally, Japan offers diverse microclimates that allow winemakers to experiment with a range of styles and varietals."

In regards to Japanese wine production, McDougall said, 'The development of wine production in the nation has diversified the country's alcoholic offerings and forced certain agricultural groups to shift from mass commercialisation towards a focus on achieving quality in their raw produce."

Recently, some Japanese vintners adopted ancient methods of wine making which are commonly seen in Eastern Europe.

Japanese wine has gained a growing reputation in the international market. According to latest report from market researchers Euromonitor International, sales of Japanese sparkling and still wine made from grapes reached 324 billion yen ($2.9 billion) in 2014. That is a 35% increase in five years.

One small burden is the different in packaging between Japan and Europe. Recently Japan had requested European Union to allow Japanese wine to be exported in a smaller 720 ml bottle which commonly used by Japanese wineries.

In respond to the request, Japan Times reported that EU refused. European Union insisted Japan to use 750 ml bottles which are widely used in Europe and other major markets. This objection will make Japanese winery to use separate bottles for export and domestic market.

Japan is considered to be the most advanced wine industry in Asia. Therefore, winery is expected to boost economy in the region struck by 2011 tsunami. A new winery is pioneered in Miyagi prefecture since last year.

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