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Japan: Tax Agency wants young people to drink more alcohol


In the Corona year there was a slump in alcohol sales in Japan. However, the trend of young people drinking less is independent of the pandemic. The tax authority wants to take countermeasures with a campaign.

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Abandoned: A woman walks past a bar in Tokyo


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Alcohol isn't cool anymore.

This is one of the findings from the corona pandemic.

Actually, there isn't much that's bad about it: Alcohol is harmful to your health, and it can also be addictive.

But in Japan you see things a little differently.

The Japanese government is asking young people to drink more alcohol.

The »Sake Viva!« campaign aims to collect suggestions on how the popularity of alcoholic beverages can be increased.

The Guardian first reported on it.

The Japanese tax authority, the National Tax Agency, is behind the campaign.

It's all about the money: Since 1980, the share of alcohol sales in Japanese tax revenue has fallen from five percent to 1.7 percent in 2020.

In the Corona year, revenue fell by more than 110 billion yen to 1.13 trillion yen, a drop of 800 million to 9.5 billion euros.

In addition to the corona pandemic, the reasons for the decline, which began in the 1980s, are the falling consumption of young people.

The campaign's website cites demographic change in Japan as the reason for this.

In Japan, one of the lowest birth rates meets one of the highest life expectancies.

According to the World Bank, Japan has a higher percentage of the population aged 65 and over than anywhere else in the world.

To a certain extent, the customers of the producers of alcoholic beverages are dying away.

Beer consumption drops significantly

This is mainly reflected in beer consumption: As the »Japan Times« reports, beer consumption fell by more than 20 percent in the 2020 financial year, which ended in March 2021.

Another problem, according to the tax authority, is that many people drink beer-like beverages with low malt content, which are subject to a lower tax.

For 2021, an increase in alcohol tax revenue of 3.7 percent is expected.

Overall, however, the downward trend is clear.

And this is not a purely Japanese event.

At least when it comes to survey results from the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA).

According to this, alcohol consumption among young people in Germany fell to a low in the past year.

According to the data, 32 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds drink regularly, at the end of the 1970s it was 66 percent, and ten years ago the proportion was 40 percent.

In Japan, they now want to take countermeasures – in favor of the economy.

As part of the campaign, which runs until September 9, "new products and designs" are now being sought.

Drinking within your own four walls should also be advertised, and sales methods should also be established, for example through artificial intelligence and the Metaverse, according to the website.

The only restriction: the plans would have to relate to Japanese drinks.

Finalists will be invited to Tokyo in November.

A small but comes at least from the Ministry of Health.

According to the Guardian, it said it hopes the campaign will also remind people to only drink "appropriate amounts of alcohol."


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-08-18

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