Suntory Corp this week held its annual "Whisky Lovers Awards" ceremony in which it honors celebrities who it feels have the sophisticated image they would like to associate with their brand. This year, singer Masahiko Kondo, composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, actress Ryoko Yonekura, actress Yuriko Yoshitaka, ballet dancer Tetsuya Kumakawa and F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi were honored.
The award was started last year to celebrate the success of the highball, a soda and whisky combination. Upon receiving his award, Sakamoto said, "I think I've got some maturing left to do before I deserve this award, but I'd like to become the kind of guy who appreciates a good whisky." Yoshitaka said, "I'm going to try relaxing with a whisky after a long day."
Due in part to the popularity of the highball, whisky sales increased 10% last year, marking the first upturn in 11 years. Sales are increasing across the alcohol industry in general with whisky distillers anticipating another 2% increase on last year.© Japan Today