TOKYO - Chile became the largest exporter of wine to Japan in 2015, according to the Japanese government Thursday.
Japanese import of Chilean wine last year increased 18.1 percent with respect to 2014, reaching a volume of 51.59 million liters, according to the Finance Ministry.
The import of wine from France, which has dominated the Japanese market for decades, was 51.51 million liters, an interannual drop of 2.8 percent.
Sale of Chilean wine in Japan has rapidly grown over the last decade and in 2005 it occupied fifth place in terms of volume.
Chile replaced Italy as the second largest wine exporter to Japan in 2013, and retained its position in 2014.
Italy once again was the third largest exporter in 2015 with 34.64 million liters, while Spain remained at fourth place with 20.21 million liters.
Experts credit the popularity of Chilean wine in Japan to competitive pricing and agreeable taste that appeals to a wide range of customers.