Farmers on Japan's west coast will sow Nihonbare rice this year for the first time in a decade as growers around the country return to older varieties to meet demand for record sake exports.

Overseas shipments of sake reached an all-time high of ¥8.5 billion in the 10 months through October as they headed for a fourth annual gain, the latest data from the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry show. Farmers in Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, will produce 1,080 metric tons in 2014, the JA-Echizen Takefu agricultural cooperative said.

Suppliers to brewers are increasing acreage as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe targets a fivefold increase in exports of sake, "sembei" rice crackers and other products made from the grain to ¥60 billion by 2020.