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Japan launches booze booster competition to push youth to drink more alcohol

Japan launches booze booster competition to push youth to drink more alcohol

The National Tax Agency is calling on 20 to 39-year-olds to share their ideas to boost alcohol consumption in the country.

Japan has kicked off a national contest encouraging young people to drink to help boost the economy.

The New York Times reported after two years of lockdown restrictions, Japan's National Tax Agency launched its contest calling for 20 to 39-year-olds to share their ideas to boost alcohol consumption.

The agency said they hope the campaign known as ‘Sake Viva’ will help revitalise the alcohol industry.

The National Tax Agency also shared that drinking had become less frequent amongst the younger generation due to the pandemic - something they hope to reverse while prompting alcohol sales.

Megapress / Alamy Stock Photo

The tax authority’s campaign website states: “The domestic alcoholic beverage market is shrinking due to demographic changes such as the declining birth rate and ageing population, and lifestyle changes due to the impact of the new coronavirus infection.”

According to the agency, Japan's yearly alcohol consumption had decreased from 100 litres per person in 1995 to 75 litres in 2020. 

Inevitably, this has hurt the Japanese economy, with alcohol only attributing to only 1.7 per cent of the tax revenue in 2020, down from three per cent in 2011 and five in 1980, as per Japan Times.

jeremy sutton-hibbert / Alamy Stock Photo

A spokesperson for the agency said at the time: "As working from home made strides to a certain extent during the COVID-19 crisis, many people may have come to question whether they need to continue the habit of drinking with colleagues to deepen communication.

"If the 'new normal' takes root, that will be an additional headwind for tax revenue."

While the government has assured they will not encourage ‘drinking in excess’, the controversial campaign has attracted a wealth of criticism from the public.

Bartender Suzumo Sakurai slammed the idea as ‘terrible’ via CBS News.

He added: "It's like trying to get people to smoke more." 

Many also took to Twitter to voice their concern as one person slammed the government for its inappropriate message.

One person wrote: “Revenue from alcohol sales is decreasing in Japan, so the government is paying for the ‘Sake Viva!’ campaign to ‘stimulate demand among young people’ to drink alcohol. The younger generation in Japan are just too smart to drink a lot & the government doesn't like it one bit.”

While another said: “Mind-boggling News from Japan."

Featured Image Credit: Jui-Chi Chan / Alamy Stock Photo. Deborah Van Kirk / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, World News, Food And Drink