• Japan’s overstocked missions dumping wine

18 Oct

NEW YORK — Street people and other thrifty folk who were tempted to go Dumpster diving for wine at the Japanese Consulate on Park Avenue may not have gotten the treasure trove they thought.

The green-trimmed complex at 299 Park and East 32nd Street, along with three other Japanese missions reported discarding 1,044 bottles of wine and other alcoholic beverages, saying their quality had degraded.

The dumping came to light when Japan’s Foreign Ministry audited the wine stockpiles at its embassies abroad and found they had huge stockpiles, including nearly 8,000 bottles at its Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development office in Paris.

“I was very surprised to see the report by the audit board,” Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, who took office a month ago, told a parliamentary committee after a recent audit of embassies’ alcohol stocks. “I knew there was a considerable inventory of wine, but one mission had as much as 30 times” their 2009 annual consumption. “It would be fine if they kept their stocks, but some missions discarded 1,000 bottles. It’s a big waste.”

The study was part of reforms instituted by the center-left government that came into power last year. The ministry’s audit board pointed to the excessive inventory in a report earlier this month surveying 51 of Japan’s 211 diplomatic missions abroad.

The Paris office’s supply would have been enough for 30 years, based on the mission’s consumption of 268 bottles in the 2009 fiscal year that ended in March. The mission to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva had 1,436 bottles, the equivalent of nearly 12 years of its consumption.

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Posted by on October 18, 2010 in NYC, Wine


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