50 Years On: Tax Relief to End for Okinawa Liquor Makers

Politics Lifestyle

Naha, Okinawa Pref., April 6 (Jiji Press)--Liquor makers in Okinawa Prefecture will see a gradual end to the tax relief that has been supporting the local industry since the southernmost prefecture returned to Japanese rule in 1972.

The industry faces the need to strengthen its business foundations as the tax relief on alcoholic drinks made and sold in Okinawa will be phased out by May 2032.

The liquor tax per bottle containing 1.8 liters of "awamori," Okinawa's traditional spirits, will rise by 189 yen after the tax relief is scrapped.

The preferential treatment was introduced in 1972, when Okinawa was returned to Japan after 27 years of U.S. occupation. The measure was taken because the liquor tax in the U.S.-occupied Okinawa was lower than in Japan.

Initially, liquors made by makers in Okinawa for local shipments enjoyed a 60 pct tax reduction. The rate has been gradually trimmed, currently standing at 35 pct for awamori and 20 pct for beer and other alcoholic drinks.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press