Japan - Number One Drinks Company whiskies unaffected by radiation

The on-going situation at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear facility in north-eastern Japan has resulted in confusion regarding the status of Japanese products destined for export to overseas markets. Some countries have temporarily introduced partial bans on the importation of Japanese products, whilst others (including the EU) have brought in the need for testing and certification prior to export.


The situation in Japan remains unclear with the prefectural authorities tasked to issue the required certification not yet fully briefed by central government. To provide reassurance to customers as swiftly as possible, Number One Drinks Company has therefore elected voluntarily to submit samples to a Government-approved testing centre in Japan. Whisky has been taken from each warehouse at every distillery for which Number One Drinks holds exclusive export rights.


Samples were drawn at the beginning of April 2011 and tested over the following few days. The results shown below indicate conclusively that these products have been unaffected by the three radio-nuclides concerned (Iodine 131, Caesium 134 & Caesium 137):


Distillery        Sample                                  Location                                Radio-nuclides (as above)

Chichibu        Cask #26 distilled 2008        Chichibu                              Not detected

Hanyu            Cask #1305 2000                Chichibu                               Not detected

Karuizawa      Cask #5173 2000               Karuizawa w/house 1           Not detected

Karuizawa      Cask #7914 1984               Karuizawa w/house 4           Not detected

Karuizawa      Cask #3653 1984               Karuizawa w/house 8           Not detected

Kawasaki       Cask #G7451 1982             Chichibu                                Not detected


Both Karuizawa and Chichibu distilleries (where stocks of Hanyu and Kawasaki are also stored) are located more than 250 kilometres from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear facility. David Croll, Tokyo-based Managing Director of Number One Drinks Company (Japan), states: “I hope these test results will go some way to clarifying the situation. We continue to monitor the situation carefully and will work together with the Japanese authorities to facilitate export of these whiskies as the necessary documentation becomes available.”