Key Facts Spirits Leads the Way in Japan

Spirits more than wine turns the heads of the average Japanese drinker, making it the biggest market for imported spirits anywhere across the Asia-Pacific.

But Japan is also Asia Pacific’s second biggest importer of wine (2.7m h/l, worth €1.4bn in 2015, up 3.6% in volume and 4.2% in value) and the sixth biggest market worldwide for imported wine (Vinexpo/IWSR).

The overall spirits market is in 1% decline as older consumers cut down on drinking sake and sochu, the country’s two dominant spirits categories, for health reasons. Whisky saw a record 12% growth in 2015 (Euromonitor) and 21% increase in imports (Japan Ministry of Finance).

With minimal domestic wine production it means 70% of wine drunk in Japan is imported (Vinexpo/IWSR). But it remains a small market with only 3.5m h/l drunk compared to 31.8m h/l in the US and 17.3m h/l China (OIV).