Have a cold one! Japan encourages alcohol consumption

Photo: Wikimedia Public Domain

Japanese authorities are trying to make young adults living in the country a little more tipsy. The move comes after Japanese officials noticed that taxes on alcoholic beverages such as rice wine, have decreased significantly.

The Japanese national tax agency introduced a national competition to come up with ideas to reverse the sober trends.

The “Sake Viva!” campaign asks 20 to 39-year-olds to share their business ideas to increase demand among their peers for all kinds of alcoholic beverages, from beer to spirits. The ideas may include promotions, branding and even artificial intelligence.

The deadline to put forward ideas for the promotion is set for September 30. The best plans will then be developed and presented in November.

What sobered up Japan?

“The group running the competition for the tax authority says new habits - partly formed during the Covid pandemic – and an ageing population have led to a decline in alcohol sales,” BBC reported.

According to the campaign’s website, Japan’s alcohol market is shrinking because of the country’s ageing population and a decline in birth rates.

Drinking – bad, not drinking – also bad

Recent figures from the Japanese tax agency show that an average Japanese person was drinking 75 litres of different types of booze in 2020, compared to 100 litres in 1995.

Tax revenue from alcohol sales has also shrunk over the years. In 1980 tax on alcohol made up 5 percent of the total tax revenue, in turn, in 2020 it amounted to just 1.7 percent.

The World Bank estimates that nearly a third (29 percent) of Japan’s population is aged 65 and older, making it the wisest population in the world.