• Kyodo

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Shipments of sake totaled 601,807 kiloliters in fiscal 2011, up 1.2 percent from the previous year and the first gain in 16 years, an industry body said in a preliminary report Tuesday.

The result reflects an increase in purchases by consumers wishing to support brewers in the Tohoku region, which was devastated by the March 11, 2011, megaquake and tsunami, according to the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association. “Shochu” spirits, unlike rice-based sake, can be made from other grains, as well as sweet potatoes.

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