Japan Goes On Bizarre Anti-Prohibition Campaign
(RepublicanNews.org) – Not even a decade ago, Japanese leaders saw excessive drinking as such a detrimental issue, they released a 37-page plan to combat the problem. Now, the country wants to encourage young people to imbibe more frequently. Officials point to cultural issues as the reason, although plummeting sin tax revenues are likely a bigger factor.
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) August 18, 2022
Japan’s National Tax Agency is behind the movement, using a new pro-drinking campaign contest called “Sake Viva!” as one arena to change public opinion. With submissions closing on September 9, 2022, this “business contest” is open to residents between 20 and 39 years old. Contestants must submit proposals on promoting traditional Japanese drinks like sake and awamori, and judges in Tokyo will begin their final round of decisions on September 10.
The Daily Wire reports that Japan’s liquor tax revenues have declined since 2013. One long-term factor could be the nation’s growing senior population, typically consuming less alcohol. Still, the drop in tax revenue appeared to come to a head when COVID-19 restrictions limited people’s ability to visit bars and restaurants, where most Japanese residents socialize and imbibe.
Not everyone is happy about Sake Viva!, citing the dangers of chronic or excessive alcohol consumption and questioning the government’s motivations. Journalist Karyn Nishimura-Poupée stirred up a debate on Twitter, reminding readers that in all other developed countries, “it is considered a good thing for young people to avoid drinking.” She said only “weird Japan” would concoct such a plan to increase the potentially dangerous practice.
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