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Whisky production in Japan began around 1870, but the first commercial production was in 1924 upon the opening of the country's first distillery, Yamazaki. While a small number of Japanese blends and vatted malts are directly inspired by the Scottish model, Japanese single malts have developed their own unique style.
There are several companies producing whisky in Japan, but the two best-known and most widely available are Suntory, owner of two distilleries, Yamazaki and Hakushu, and producer of the famous Hibiki blend and Nikka, owner of the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. Both of these produce blended as well as single malt whiskies and blended malt whiskies.