Should Japan Lower Drinking Age To 18? Teens Not Keen

Kampai! But only if you're 20 or over.

Kampai! But only if you’re 20 or over.

Imagine the scene. You’re 18, and the PM wants to see you. He wants to ask you if you think it should be legal for you to go to bars and drink. To smoke cigarettes. This is your chance to be the coolest kid in school, the kid who let all the other kids party like it was 1999. Or even 2999. So what do you do?

Well, the actual teenagers that the government invited to a brainstorming session on lowering the age of majority in Japan aren’t like you. They’re sensible, responsible. They have balanced opinions. In short, they said they weren’t sure it was a good idea.

And Yahoo! netizens also came out overwhelmingly against the idea, commenting in their droves on the article below. Many also commented that the government should look at reforming the controversial Juvenile Law first, which many feel allows young people who commit serious crimes, such as murder, to escape justice.

From Yahoo! Japan:

LDP Asks High School Students Opinion On Lowering Drinking Age In Japan With Mixed Results

On August 26, the LDP special committee charged with looking at the age of majority in Japan (headed by Imazu Hiroshi) invited around 20 high school and university students to the party headquarters to ask their opinions on lowering the age in Japan at which they would be allowed to consume alcohol and smoke cigarettes.

Some of those who attended said that “in effect there is already consumption of alcohol by minors at university parties for freshmen”, and called for the age to be lowered to 18, there were also those who called for cautious opposition, saying that “it’s not good from a medical point of view”.

There was also a series of remarks from the youngsters about lowering the minimum age under the Juvenile Law. While several people said they approved of lowering the age, saying that “It’s not about being protected by society, people need to behave responsibly”, while there were also those who thought that “from the perspective of protecting children, there is no need to lower the minimum age”.

Comments from Yahoo! Japan:


Umm, rather than all this, when are they going to reform the Juvenile Law?


Does this mean that the number of drink-related accidents involving Boy A are going to rise?


Look, make it 20 or make it 18, those who drink will drink regardless. And it’s not like they can really do anything about it either.


I’m against it.
There are even loads of adults about who can’t handle their alcohol around.


Look if it’s not a good idea medically then it’s not a good idea.
End of.


I’m completely against this.
So much so that I they could even raise the drinking age to 21 like in the US.


The thing is, the reason that we have an age limit on drinking and smoking is not because of any legal responsibility or anything like that, it’s because there are medical issues.


Bet the number of people with acute alcohol poisoning will go up.


Even among university students there are a lot of incidents caused by alcohol.
I suppose that it’s safe to drink the amount that you want, but the law is an ass when it comes to being able to force people to drink.
If an accident happens, or if someone gets acute alcohol poisoning because they’ve been forced to drink alcohol, then there should be a harsh punishment.
I want the law to be revised.
Call it the Law of Dangerous Imposition or something.
And give them a maximum of 20 years in prison, that’d be appropriate, right?


Do something about the Juvenile Law first!


Why do they have to lower the drinking age anyway?


Before lowering the drinking age,
isn’t a more pressing task to revise the Juvenile Law?
They’re crazy.


It’s because they want that tax income 〜So thoughtless.


100% against!
Even now there are loads of traffic accidents, and if they lower the drinking age, there’s definitely going to be way more!


Why are they even debating lowering it?
Bad things are bad, so they should punished, right?
The only think I can think in all of this is that the government is only looking at tax profit.
They shouldn’t just be taking our taxes; I wish they’d put some effort into making cuts to reduce the amount they waste.


I don’t think 18 year olds today can really look after themselves though.


So even though up to now they’ve said that it was bad for your health to drink before 20, now if you’re 18 they’re going to lift the ban on alcohol?


Nah nah nah nah nah.
That ain’t a good idea.

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  • vonskippy

    Geesh, could the current Japanese youth be any bigger wussies? No wonder they live with their parents into their 30’s.

  • I have the perfect name in case these teen representatives form a political party after graduation : “PartyPoopers”

  • redgirls

    Does this mean that the number of drink-related accidents involving Boy A are going to rise? <… This….!

  • Smith_90125

    It’s always a good sign for the future when the kids are smarter than the adults (see also: LGBTQ rights).

  • LaoShu

    Funny discussion, I am from a land where one can drink beer and wine when he is 16 and strong liquor from the age of 18. We don’t have any more problems than other countries in terms of alcohol abuse / use by young people. I guess if you grow up learning to be responsible is better than if the state tries to dictate..

    • SorayaVonDerAlm

      are you German?

      • LaoShu

        I am from the south of the Alm

  • David

    Maybe start with raising the national age of sexual consent to 18? Even 17? I know some local areas have raised ages, but 13 is a little low for a country, don’t you think? Makes others think your a country of pedophiles. . . oh, never mind.

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