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A shortage of Japanese whisky is forcing drinks producers in Japan to turn to imported spirits, according to a report.

Kirin Holdings has reportedly said it wants to double its imported whisk(e)y sales by 2020 as domestic production fails to keep pace with a growing trend for highballs in Japan. Kirin told Nikkei that it will add the Diageo-owned Johnnie Walker Green Label to its distribution portfolio next month.

According to Nikkei, Suntory Holdings has upped its 2016 sales target for Jim Beam Bourbon to 550,000 cases from 500,000. The highball trend helped push Jim Beam's sales up by 49% year-on-year between in the first six months of 2016, Nikkei said.

Meanwhile, Asahi Breweries will add an "upscale Jack Daniel's whiskey" to its imported portfolio, Nikkei reported.

Last year, Beam Suntory launched the Jim Beam Citrus Highball Grapefruit to tap into the Japanese craze for highballs, which is boosting demand for the company's Japanese whiskies.

What are the key trends in non-Scotch whisky? Click here to read just-drinks Non-Scotch Whisky Essentials


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