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Asahi Tops Kirin in Japan Beer Sales as Demand Falls

Asahi Breweries Ltd. regained the lead in Japan beer sales from Kirin Holdings Co. as demand in the nation fell for a sixth straight year in 2010.

Asahi had a 37.5 percent share of shipments for standard beer, low-malt and no-malt beer last year, ahead of Kirin’s 36.7 percent, the Tokyo-based brewers said today in separate statements. Industrywide sales dropped 2.8 percent to 459 million cases, the lowest level since records began in 1992.