Masatoshi Sakane, or Sakane-san as he’s often referred to, is one of the nicest and most interesting people you’ll ever meet. Not only does he share our love for yakitori, sake, and beer, he has also worked with some of our favorite Japanese products, including Suntory and Kikkoman. Not to mention, he has spent the majority of his career promoting Japanese food and beverage culture everywhere from Shinjuku to Berlin. As Sakane-san is about to retire from JFC, we asked him to answer a couple of questions for the Sunday’s Grocery site and we’re honored that he accepted. Learn more about Masatoshi Sakane and his incredible career below.
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Tell us about yourself – where were you born, where do you live now, what do you do?

 

I was born in Matsue city, Shimane prefecture in Japan on Nov 2, 1956. Now I’m living in Chiba prefecture. I belong to JFC Japan Inc. Senior Manager of Customer Support For Overseas Expansion.

 

Tell us about your work with Suntory.

 

I started to work for Suntory just after I graduated from Rikkyo University in Tokyo. That was because I was interested in Japanese alcohol beverage.

 

Why did you work for the company for as long as you did?  Why did you enjoy it?

 

After 10 years of work experience for Suntory, I changed jobs to Kikkoman in order to work overseas. From 1995 to 2003 I worked in Germany as a General Manager of Kikkoman in the Europe liaison office. From 2011 to 2016, I was the General Manager of JFC Hong Kong Ltd. I spent very productive days in Hong Kong as a General Manager of JFC.

 

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Who has inspired you in your life and why?

 

I respect Mr. Keizo Saji, ex-CEO of Suntory, and Mr. Yuzaburo Mogi, Chairman of Kikkoman. They take risks and accept challenges.

 

What is your favorite food?  What is your favorite beverage?

 

My favorite food is Japanese “Kaiseki,” a traditional multi-course dinner. My favorite beverage is Japanese Sake and Japanese Whisky.

 

What’s your favorite city?  What do you love most about Japan?  What do you love most about Hong Kong?

 

My favorite cities are Matsue, my hometown, Berlin, and Hong Kong. I love the 4 seasons in Japan – the air, water, marine products, agricultural products. Hong Kong is very attractive because it’s exciting, powerful, international, and changing rapidly.

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