Japan’s traditional rice wine, sake, is in serious decline within its country of origin. Only 1,450 breweries remain out of the 4,000 or so which existed in the 1960s. Last week the 130-year old Watanabe Shuzo brewery closed down. Sake is now seen as an “old man’s drink” with younger, professional people preferring to drink beer, alcopops, sweet liqueurs, gin or sparkling wine. However, premium sake is popular outside Japan and is being exported to cities such as New York and London where it is considered fashionable. The Sunday Telegraph 21/10/07 page 35