SABMiller is set to make its first foray into the Japanese market.

The global brewer confirmed today (4 September) that its Peroni Nastro Azzuro beer brand has just been unveiled in the country. The launch of the international brand signals SABMiller's first step into the Japanese market, although the company has no current plans to add to its portfolio in the country.

While the company said it is "investing in promoting the brand in Japan over the coming year to greatly increase its presence and consumer awareness", a spokesperson for SABMiller declined to give specific investment figures.

Peroni will be imported into Japan, the spokesperson said, with Nippon Beer handling distribution across the country.

"Japanese urban consumers are very stylish and extremely interested in high quality and design," said Chris Taylor, Peroni's international brand director. "They also show a real appetite for Italian brands. Peroni Nastro Azzurro represents the finest Italian quality, craftsmanship and design. As such we believe there will be an appreciative audience in Japan for Peroni Nastro Azzurro's superior taste and Italian style credentials."

Domestic brewers have had a troubled time of late in Japan, with beer shipments in June slipping for the second consecutive month. Shipments from Sapporo, Asahi, Kirin, Suntory and Orion in the month slipped by 9.3% year-on-year, data from the Brewers Association of Japan showed earlier this summer.