Japan has a lot to toast to apparently. The Asian powerhouse’s wine consumption has quadrupled over the past 30 years, according to National Tax Agency data.
The country’s overall wine consumption grew nearly four-fold from 1988’s 95,000 kl to 364,000 kl in 2017 led by imports of Chilean wines.
Chile overtook France to become Japan’s biggest wine importer by volume after the two countries signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2015, which eliminated import tax for Chilean wines.
The South American country accounts for roughly 30% of all imported wine volume, followed by France, Italy and Spain, according to the 2019 report on Japanese wine market published by Kirin group.
European wines in general contribute to around 60% of Japan’s annual wine imports. This percentage is expected to expand as the two parties’ Economic Partnership Agreement came into effect in February which scrapped 15% tariff on wine.
Aside from imported wines, Japan counts itself as a wine producing country, with wines mainly made in Yamanashi, Nagano, Yamagata and Hokkaido. Domestic wines take up for roughly 30% of its overall consumption.
In the coming year, Japanese will likely drink more American wines as well, as the two allies are prepared to sign a deal to reduce tariffs on American wines, which have so far suffered major setbacks in China due to ongoing US-China trade war.
Considered a mature wine market, Japan’s per capita wine consumption is 3.2 litre, more than double that of China, according to OIV.
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