Japan’s youth are drinking less alcohol, and government is concerned


Young Japanese people don’t drink like they used to — and the government is worried about that.

The National Tax Agency launched a competition for proposals that encourage people to consume more alcoholic beverages, to reduce the hole caused by the drop in sales of these products in the country.

Dubbed Sake Viva!, the campaign asks 20 to 39-year-olds to come up with ideas to revive the popularity of alcoholic beverages, which have fallen out of favor due to lifestyle changes during the pandemic.

According to the Japanese press and the British newspaper The Guardian, which reported on the campaign, annual alcohol consumption in Japan fell from an average of 100 liters per person in 1995 to 75 liters in 2020. % of Japanese tax revenue in 1980 and 3% in 2011, dropped to 1.7% in 2020.

The drop in alcohol tax revenue in fiscal 2020 — at 110 billion yen — was the biggest in 31 years, according to the Japan Times.

The Covid pandemic may have influenced the change in habits, says the Japanese press, as it harmed going out to bars and restaurants, including the habit of drinking with co-workers to deepen bonds and communication in the work environment – something that home office also discouraged.

Population decline, with the reduction in the percentage of young people and the aging of the population, is also pointed out as a cause.

Beer consumption was the one that fell the most, with a reduction of 20%, to less than 1.8 billion liters.

According to a research institute cited by the Jiji Press agency, about half of young Japanese people are not in the habit of drinking daily.

Participants in Sake Viva! should present strategies that also promote domestic consumption of alcohol. The competition will be broadcast live online and registration closes on September 9th.

Entries that pass the initial selection will go on to a final stage, which will take place on November 10th in Tokyo. The best-rated products and campaigns will be sponsored by the government to bring them to fruition.

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