The Japan Sommelier Association (JSA) was formed in 1969 with the objective of furthering a better understanding of wine and other beverages and for their promotion in Japan. The word sommelier is more often associated with wine but in recent years the JSA has focused on Sake and developed the Sake Diploma certification. The Sake Diploma is now one of the most famous and prestigious qualifications in Japan. Sake School of America is the exclusive provider of the JSA Sake Award Diploma Exam offered once a year around International Sake Day, in North America.

The Japan Sommelier Association administers the Sake Diploma exam for those hoping to become certified sommeliers. The exam covers both sake and shochu with the aim to provide a deeper understanding of sake and support the promotion of Japanese food culture. Certified JSA Sake Diploma International holders are also eligible to participate in the Sake Diploma Competition organized by JSA every three years.