Germany gets taste of Amami ‘kokuto shochu’


A small trade fair was held in Berlin this week to promote “shochu” distilled spirits made from “kokuto” brown sugar, a specialty of the remote Amami Islands in Kagoshima Prefecture.

It was the first organized attempt to promote kokuto shochu overseas.

The government allows production of kokuto shochu only in the Amami chain.

Some 40 people, mainly from local importers, hotels and restaurants, visited the event Monday, with liqueurs using kokuto shochu drawing keen attention.

The kokuto shochu industry selected Germany as the site of its first overseas promotional event because shochu is duty-free there.

In the evening, a reception at the Japanese Embassy drew some 150 German officials.