Because Japan pushes young people to drink alcohol

Because Japan pushes young people to drink alcohol

In Japan, the government has launched a competition to entice young people to drink more alcohol. Here are the reasons. Tax… All the details

Drink to forget. Or to help the state. In Japan, the government is promoting a project to tackle the decline in alcohol consumption among young people. The reason is that this trend has repercussions on the country's revenues, but not only.


While most countries advocate sobriety among their young people, the Financial Times writes, Japan goes against the grain and launches a campaign that invites them to drink more alcohol.

Japanese young adults are too sober for the authorities, and the fact that younger generations drink less alcohol than their parents affects taxes on drinks like sake.


Recent data from the Revenue Agency, cited by the FT , show that in 2020 people drank less than in 1995, with a drop from 100 liters per year to 75.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2018, Japan's annual per capita consumption rate – expressed in terms of pure alcohol – was eight liters per year, more than China's 7.2 liters but less. of the 11.4 in the UK.


Economic data are added to the data on alcohol consumption. Tax revenue from alcohol taxes has also declined over the years. In 1980, reports The Japan Times , it accounted for 5% of total revenue, while in 2020 it amounted to just 1.7%.

"The Japanese government – writes the BBC – has a chronic budget deficit and a total debt equal to more than double the country's gross domestic product".


According to the campaign site , Japan's alcohol market is shrinking and the country's aging demographics, along with declining birth rates, are significant factors.

In addition, in fact, to the concern for the income deriving from alcohol taxes, the Japanese economy fears that these two phenomena could create problems such as the lack of young personnel for some types of work and for assistance to the elderly .

The World Bank estimates that nearly a third (29%) of the Japanese population is 65 or older – the highest percentage in the world.


To solve the problem of the sobriety of Japanese young people, the tax agency therefore intervened by launching a national competition.

The "Sake Viva!" invites people between the ages of 20 and 39 to come up with business ideas to make sake, shochu, whiskey, beer or wine more attractive and give new impetus to the sector.

Competitors need to come up with promotions, branding, and even cutting-edge plans involving artificial intelligence. In fact, the organizers also hope to find a way to use the metaverse to generate the kind of condition that leads to uncorking a bottle.

Participants will have until September and the best projects will then be developed with the help of experts, before the final proposals are submitted in November.


According to local media , the reactions were mixed: some criticized the attempt to promote an unhealthy habit, but others immediately gave vent to creativity hoping to win the competition.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, reports the FT , stated that it did not collaborate with the Revenue Agency for its competition, but that it was in close contact with regard to issues relating to alcohol and health.

As the poet and military man Ōtomo no Tabito said: “It is much more to cry with drunkenness, after drinking sake, than trying to say wise things”.

And so Kanpai!

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Thu, 18 Aug 2022 11:19:30 +0000.