Why Japan now encourages its young people to drink more alcohol

Why Japan now encourages its young people to drink more alcohol

Image: Jeremy Bezanger/Unsplash/Reproduction

Japan is facing an unusual problem: its young people are no longer consuming alcohol. That’s why the country’s government launched “Sake Viva!”: a campaign to encourage the population to send suggestions for ways to encourage young people to drink more.

The National Tax Agency, the body in charge of the initiative, asks people to submit ideas to “stimulate demand among young people” through other services, such as promotions, products, designs and sales techniques, for example. The use of artificial intelligence or presence in the metaverse is allowed, as recorded by the CNN.

Applications for submitting ideas are open until September 9. In October, the finalists will be invited for a consultation with experts, and in November, the country holds a “final tournament” with the best suggestions in Tokyo. Whoever wins will have support for marketing the plan, the IRS said.

The reason: young people don’t drink anymore

Japan saw beverage consumption drop dramatically during the pandemic, when it ordered bars and public establishments to close to contain the virus.

In addition, declining birth rates, an aging population and changes in lifestyle after Covid-19 have also forced the drastic drop in alcohol tax revenues.

Although the country has recorded an increase in domestic consumption of alcohol, the young adult population seems to have stopped drinking. Only 7.8% of people in their 20s say they consume this type of drink, compared to 30% of people between 40 and 60 years old.

This affects the 3rd largest global economy: alcohol taxes have always been an important source of revenue for the Japanese government. But they have declined in recent years. In 2021, Japan collected 1.1 trillion yen on alcohol – more than BRL 42 billion at current exchange rates. The hill accounted for 1.7% of total tax revenue. In 2011, the sector added up to 3% and, in 1980, 5%.

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