BENGALURU: Japanese community in Karnataka welcomed the state government’s decision to notify Sake - traditional Japanese alcoholic drink, which is very popular among the Japanese community - as wine. With this, the excise tax on Sake will be reduced significantly as it was earlier categorised as liquor.
After Japanese Consulate General Takayuki Kitagawa took up the issue with Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy during his recent meeting, the State Finance Department last week issued an order notifying Japanese Sake as wine.
“This is a very good news for not only Japanese community, but also to international community as Japanese cuisine is very popular among them. Now, more people can afford Sake as Excise duty will be reduced significantly,” he said.
Sake, which is made from rice through fermentation like beer and wine, is an integral part of Japanese lifestyle and culture. There are number of Sake brands and the price varies depending on the brand.
“We are very happy with the state government’s decision to reduce the Excise tax on Japanese Sake, which is our original alcoholic drink. Japanese really like it, but unfortunately in Karnataka, it was categorised as liquor, while in many other states it was considered as wine,” said Akito Tachibana, Managing Director, Toyota Kiroskar Motor and President of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bengaluru.
According to him, reduction in Excise tax will also encourage others also to try Sake. “I recommend people to try to drink hot Sake, which will be different from cold wine. Japanese food is cold and hot sake will balance it. It is a very good combination,” said Toyota MD.
Number of Japanese firms in Bengaluru have increased from 450 in 2016 to 507 in 2017 and number of Japanese nationals living in the city too has increased from 1,300 to 1,500.