Masato Nakatani is the sixth-generation head of Nakatani Brewing Co. in Nara Prefecture, and one of the most outstanding figures involved in developing the worldwide sake market. Nineteen years ago, Nakatani began brewing sake in Tianjin, China, and the high-quality "Asaka" sake enjoys nearly the top share of China's sake market. As a representative example of sake, Asaka will be served at the Japan Night event, part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of New Champions to be held from Sept. 10 to 12 in Tianjin, China.

Q1. Can you tell us why you wanted to make sake in China?

When the toji, or sake brewing master, of Nakatani Brewing Co. came over in the autumn of 1994 to discuss the sake brewing season, which begins in autumn and ends in spring, I heard that there were sake makers in China from him.