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|LAW TO CURB DISCOUNTS ON ALCOHOL|
Japan has revised its Liquor Tax Law, and consumers bought more beer and similar beverages in May ahead of an expected price hike.
On June 1st, the government introduced a law to ban excessive discounts on alcohol. Supermarkets and discount stores have fought a price war in recent years by selling products like beer below cost. That means smaller stores can't compete. The law is designed to stop the practice.
Last-minute buying in May pushed up sales year-on-year by 16 percent at Asahi Beer and 14 percent at Suntory. Kirin Brewery saw sales rise by 10 percent, and Sapporo Breweries had a nine percent increase.
Government officials say retailers found to be offering steep discounts on alcohol may have their liquor license revoked.