Three major beverage companies plan to raise the prices of their wines and low-malt beer known as “happoshu” to offset increased costs from planned increases in the liquor tax, officials of the firms have said.

Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Suntory Ltd. and Mercian Corp. began briefing wholesalers on their plans, due to the likelihood of a bundle of tax-related bills clearing the Diet, paving the way for the government to impose higher liquor taxes on happoshu and wine starting May 1.

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