Japan launches mega campaign to urge youth to drink more. Here’s why

The Japanese government has launched a nationwide competition to encourage youngsters to drink more alcohol. The campaign to promote liquor consumption comes as Japan recently witnessed its biggest fall in alcohol tax income in 31 years, according to multiple reports. The “Sake Viva!” campaign, being run by the National Tax Agency (NTA), asks 20- to 39-year-old citizens to come up with proposals that help in revitalising the popularity of alcoholic drinks. The competition calls for “new products and designs” as well as ways to promote home drinking, and will run till September 9.

Why is Japan’s alcohol tax income dwindling

Officials have been quoted as saying by local media that alcohol consumption in Japan had fallen from an average of 100 litres a person a year in 1995 to 75 litres in 2020. According to the Japanese Times, taxes on alcohol accounted for 5 per cent of Japan’s total tax revenue in 1980, It fell down to 3 per cent in 2011 and declined further to 1.7 per cent in 2020. Total revenue from tax on alcohol in the 2020 financial year fell by more than 110 billion Yen (or 806 million US dollars), compared with the previous year.

This is because the younger generation in Japan consumes less alcohol than their parents. Whether it’s for Japanese sake, shochu, whisky, beer or wine – the popularity of alcoholic drinks fell further due to lifestyle changes during the coronavirus pandemic. Further, the country’s older demographic is also a reason why the alcohol market is shrinking in Japan.

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