Kirin Brewery, Japan's leading brewer, is facing a battle for dominance with Asahi Breweries Ltd after Asahi's successful move into the low-priced low-malt beer sector.

According to a report by Dow Jones, shipment data for the January-June period suggests that Asahi's market share reached 37.8% after domestic beer shipments rose 9.4% to 102.03m cases.

Competition for market share between the two companies has intensified with Kirin Brewery having a 37.9% market share. During the same period for 2000 Asahi held a 35.9% share of the market and Kirin a 39.4% share.