Japan Urges Young People to Drink More Alcohol to Boost Economy

Japan’s National Tax Agency has launched an online contest called “Saka Viva!” to urge young people to drink more alcohol in an effort to reverse declining sales.

via: NPR

It’s taking an unorthodox approach to try to get young Japanese adults to drink more, in an online contest dubbed Sake Viva!

The project asks young people to submit business plans to lure a new generation into going on the sauce, saying Japan’s sake, beer and liquor makers are facing challenges that the pandemic has made even worse.

Japan’s alcohol consumption has been in a downward arc since the 1990s, according to the country’s health ministry. In the past decade, the government adopted a sweeping plan to counter societal and health problems linked to alcohol, with a focus on reaching the relatively small portion of the population who were found to account for nearly 70% of Japan’s total alcohol consumption.

Coronavirus restrictions have kept many people from visiting Japan’s izakaya (pub) businesses, and people simply aren’t drinking enough at home, the tax agency said.

“The domestic alcoholic beverage market is shrinking due to demographic changes such as the declining birthrate and aging population,” as well as lifestyle shifts away from drinking, according to a website specially created for the contest.

New products that reflect the changing times; sales that use virtual “AI and Metaverse” concepts; promotions that leverage products’ place of origin — those are just a few of the ideas the site lists as ways to get Japan’s young adults to embrace alcohol.

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