Japanese government wants youths to drink more alcohol, persuading them is the problem

Japanese government wants youths to drink more alcohol, persuading them is the problem
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The Japanese government is dealing with an unusual problem, one that those in authority have never encountered before: its youth aren’t drinking enough.

However, given the difficulty in persuading them, it has decided to launch a contest to find new ways to boost their drinking habits.

According to the official competition website, the “Sake Viva” campaign, which is overseen by the National Tax Agency, participants are invited to submit ideas on how to “stimulate demand among young people” for alcohol through new services, promotional methods, products, designs, and even sales techniques using artificial intelligence or the metaverse.

“The domestic alcoholic beverage market is shrinking due to demographic changes such as the declining birthrate and aging population, and lifestyle changes due to the impact of Covid-19,” said the website.

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With applications running till September 9, finalists will be invited to expert consultation in October, followed by a tournament in Tokyo in November.

According to the tax office, the winner will receive support for their commercialization plan.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Covid-19 restrictions have struck bars and other alcohol-selling establishments hard, causing sales and liquor tax revenues to dwindle in the world’s third-largest economy.

With the website adding that the competition aims to appeal to younger generations and help revive the industry, the idea has however not been sold to a variety of people, with both the competition and the tax agency receiving criticism.

Others remarked that it seemed inappropriate for a government agency to encourage youth to drink and that the campaign did not appear to have considered health risks or sensitivity toward people dealing with alcoholism.

The Health Ministry of Japan has previously warned of the dangers of binge drinking.

The country’s website post last year described excessive alcohol consumption as a major social problem that persisted despite a recent decrease in consumption.

It also urged people with bad drinking habits to rethink their relationship with alcohol.

Even its citizens are now surprised by their recent persuasion.

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