Japan launches contest to encourage its young people to drink more alcohol and boost the economy

The Japanese government has launched a nationwide competition seeking suggestions on ways to encourage people to drink more as it tackles declining alcohol tax revenue. According to The Guardian report, the National Revenue Agency (NTA) has launched the “Sake Viva!” campaign asking people aged 20-39 to submit ideas for increasing the consumption of alcoholic beverages, which has declined due to lifestyle changes during the coronavirus pandemic, especially among young people.

The competition, which is open until September 9, calls for “new products and designs” in addition to strategies to encourage home consumption. Local website JiJi.com reported that attendees were even advised to explore metaverse-based sales techniques. Additionally, the contest finalists will be invited to a lavish awards ceremony in Tokyo on November 10. The NTA’s Japanese office said it would support commercialization of the winner’s ideas, according to the report.

Average annual alcohol consumption in Japan fell in 2020

According to the NTA, average annual alcohol consumption in Japan has risen from 100 liters per person in 1995 to 75 liters in 2020. Declining alcohol sales have hurt Japan’s budget, which is already experiencing a revenue shortfall of over 48 trillion Japanese. yen (£290 billion).

In 2020, alcohol-related taxes accounted for 1.7% of Japan’s total tax revenue, rising from 3% in 2011 to 5% in 1980. The NTA revealed earlier this month that the total revenue collected alcohol taxes in fiscal year 2020 had fallen by more than 110 billion to 1.1 trillion Japanese yen compared to 2019. This would be the largest drop in alcohol tax revenue in 31 years.

The program, according to Japan’s health ministry, aims to encourage people to consume only “the appropriate amount of alcohol” in order to prevent health problems, The Sun reported.

In addition, beer consumption fell significantly, with sales volume down 20% to less than 1.8 billion litres. According to the Kirin Brewery, which produces Ichiban Shibori and Kirin lager, the average person in Japan consumed around 55 bottles of beer in 2020, down 9.1% from the previous year, reported The Guardian.

(Image: AP/Shutterstock)

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