With its four distinct seasons, Japan’s climate is ideally suited to the cultivation of ume, and as such the fruit has been a vital part of daily life for the Japanese since ancient times, used and enjoyed in a myriad of ways. Umeshu, made by steeping ume fruit in spirit, is one of these ways. Umeshu has been made and enjoyed by many families over the centuries, as a reviving tonic that kept well over long periods. More than half a century has passed since CHOYA began producing Umeshu. Today, it is a brand with country-wide recognition, available across the whole of Japan. As the head of this company, I am keenly aware of the weight of the responsibility placed in me; it is my job to see that the culture and tradition of Umeshu, developed and refined here in Japan, is passed down to the future. We can achieve this by guaranteeing our production is always safe and reliable, and always fully focused on product quality; we will also concentrate on outstanding product development rooted in knowledge and innovation in our own industry and beyond. Umeshu has undergone significant changes over the years, particularly in terms of the alcohol in which the ume are soaked to produce the final beverage. At first, the fruit was soaked in koshu, a type of aged sake; this was later replaced with single-distilled shochu, then multiple-distilled shochu. These changes have been significant, and driven by the desire to make the most of the natural properties of ume. Here at CHOYA, we are committed to meeting the ever-changing needs of our ever-diversifying customer base by using our knowledge as Umeshu experts to create ever better products. We will continue to work with a large number of ume growers in Japan, making full use of the fruit they cultivate with such care and expertise, in order to realise innovation and excellence in our Umeshu. CHOYA is responsible for the development of Umeshu into a commercially viable product. There are many brands on the market today, and their products are of varying quality. In the midst of this competition, we are committed to protecting our fundamental approach to Umeshu production and to providing customers with products they can trust and they can enjoy. We don’t want people to buy Umeshu; we want them to buy CHOYA. As Umeshu pioneers, we want that to happen beyond Japan, too, throughout the rest of the world. Going forward, we will be concentrating on ensuring that customers all over the world can enjoy a life overflowing with CHOYA innovation.