World Cup events to market sake, shochu

Kyodo

A liquor distributor is planning to hold events at the World Cup in Brazil to increase overseas sales of sake and “shochu” (distilled spirits) during the soccer extravaganza in June.

Tokyo-based distributor Hasegawasaketen Inc. said it will organize events in Sao Paulo that month to get foreigners more acquainted with Japan’s rice wine, shochu and food culture.

For the campaign, Hasegawasaketen will be joined by soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata, a sake aficionado who played midfield on Japan’s team but has since retired.

Hasegawasaketen has been approved by FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, to slap the World Cup logo on 14 brands of sake and shochu from 12 brewers and distilleries. The first products bearing the logo went on sale Saturday in Japan.