Jim Beam Bought by Japanese Company

A proud tradition of Americana could bring a big surprise for American jobs.
3:00 | 01/14/14

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Transcript for Jim Beam Bought by Japanese Company
Thank you, jim. Tonight, what is more american than bourbon from kentucky? Tonight, a lot of fans are reeling at the news that jim beam and maker's mark have been bought by a company in japan. So, what does this mean for the proud tradition? And could it bring a surprise in american jobs? Abc's jon karl tells us. Reporter: It's the quintessential made in america product. Kentucky bourbon. None more famous than maker's mark and jim beam. A brand almost as old as america itself. Today, the men and women who make the stuff are trying to understand what it will mean to be working for the japanese company made famous in the 2003 movie, "lost in translation." For relaxing times, make it suntory time. Reporter: But don't cry for kentucky. This deal could mean more american jobs, not less. Heck, the mayor of louisville said he welcomes the deal. They've indicated they will be no threat to local jobs. As a matter of fact, beam is growing, especially the bourbon segment. Reporter: In fact, we're in the midst of a bourbon boom. Production up more than 120% since 1999. And why? Exports. No market more promising than asia. At jim beam got a tutorial from the great grandson of the man himself. A good guy. Reporter: He told us growing exports mean jobs. Job quality. People selling american products around the world, which is great. Reporter: Even before the deal, beam with a little star power, was aggressively marketing in asia. Reporter: Now beam and maker's mark will be owned by japan's biggest beverage company. One with the plans and know-how to sell in asia. Bourbon made right in kentucky. This is one product that can't be outsourced. Bourbon, by definition, must be made in america. Jonathan karl, abc news, washington. Make sure it's made in kentucky.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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