Torrential Rains Ravage Shochu Makers in Kumamoto

Society Lifestyle

Kumamoto, July 9 (Jiji Press)--The heavy rains that caused widespread damage in the southwestern Japan region of Kyushu have devastated shochu distilleries along the Kuma River, which overflowed and flooded nearby areas.

The downpour affected producers of Kuma Shochu, a spirit made with rice grown using water from the river.

According to the Kuma Shochu Makers' Association, at least three member distilleries in the city of Hitoyoshi and the neighboring village of Kuma, both in Kumamoto Prefecture, part of Kyushu, suffered serious damage on their products or manufacturing facilities. At Fuchita Distillery in Hitoyoshi, inundation caused its tank to break.

Floods also ravaged other facilities, but the association said it cannot yet grasp the full scope of damage due to roads and communication systems being cut off by the disaster.

"Many distilleries are small and family-run," Kosuke Tanaka, 66, a senior official of the association, said. "The damage posed dangers to their survival."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press