Is Nikka Whisky readying a third whisky distillery in Kagoshima? That's the question that's been floating around my head for the past, I dunno, ten minutes. Japan's National Tax Agency has issued a whisky distillation license to Nikka Whisky for their Satsuma Tsukasa Distillery. At the moment this distillery only makes a shochu under the Satsuma Tsukasa brand.
Nikka's current whisky distilleries are only located in the north of Japan: Yoichi first in Hokkaido and Miyagikyo in Tohoku. That said there are have been a couple new whisky distilleries in Kyushu over the last few years, notably Mars Tsunuki and Kanosuke. So they certainly wouldn't be alone.
It's worth noting the Japanese name of the facility is 蒸留蔵 rather than 蒸留所. Both end up as "distillery" in American but the former implies that they make only shochu.
In other license-related news, sake maker Kizakura has received a license to distill whisky at their Tamba Factory. Judging from their existing product page, they would likely be starting from scratch, as they don't appear to do much distilling at all these days.
Now for the standard disclaimer. As we've seen plenty of times in the past, these license issuances typically amount to nothing at all. But some other times, as we saw with Tohoku's Yuza Distillery, it's the very first time the public hears about these future plans. For the time being, I'll add both of the above under the Speculative category on the Japan Distillery Map!