Yamagata ousts Fukushima as Japan's best sake producer

Japan's northeastern prefecture of Yamagata has been deemed the country's best sake producer after winning the most top prizes at the 111th Annual Japan Sake Awards.

The contest's judges on Wednesday announced 218 Gold Prize winners among 818 entries from across the country. Twenty of those winners were from Yamagata.

This is the third time the prefecture has earned Japan's top spot.

Nakano Masumi, head of the prefectural brewers' association, says he's happy the judges acknowledged Yamagata's sake-brewing skills.

He said he hopes the result will boost domestic demand for Yamagata sake, which has been sluggish due to the coronavirus pandemic.