Historically, international beer companies have faced some difficult challenges in Japan, especially when it comes to getting distribution in restaurants, pubs and clubs. Oftentimes local proprietors receive very strong incentives (cash!) to stock the brews of just one Japanese company or distributor, and that means that the door can be slammed shut on international brands—and other Japanese brands—right from the start.
Things can be rough even if a bar or restaurant is open to the idea of serving competing beers. International brands have to go head to head with Japanese companies offering a multitude of excellent brews, to say nothing of fighting it out with other world players.
What's a foreign company to do?