Suntory is to construct a new soft drinks facility in Japan. The whisky distiller, brewer and Pepsi bottler and distributor, said today (20 December) that it will invest JPY20bn (US$171.5m) in the plant, located south of Tokyo.

Construction has already begun on the plant in Ayase, Kanagawa Prefecture, and is expected to be operational from early 2007.

Annual capacity for the site is expected to be 25m cases of soft drinks.

Suntory was yesterday slapped with a US$6.5m tax bill, after local reports suggested that the company had failed to list some dividends it earned through equity holdings in overseas companies.