Japan Urges Young Adults to Drink More to Boost Economy

With tax revenue from alcohol shrinking from 5% of its total revenue in 1980 to about 1.7% in 2020, Japan's National Tax Agency has launched a national campaign to reverse the trend and boost the industry. In the latest campaign known as "Sake Viva!", the National Tax Agency calls upon 20-39-year-olds to submit creative business and marketing plans to generate demand among peers and colleagues. Competitors have until September 9th to submit their ideas. The best-received plans will then be selected for development in collaboration with marketing experts before final proposals are presented in November. 


According to the website, there no hard limits to the ideas submitted for the competition, with suggestions such as social media campaigns, involving artificial intelligence, and even involving a metaverse. The contest is not limited to those residing in Japan, as overseas applications are also accepted, but contestants most both submit all documents in Japanese and conduct their presentation in Japanese should their campaign be selected. 

As of now, the judges of the contest and the rewards for successful applicants has not yet been posted to the contest website. 


In recent reports, the annual average alcohol consumption among adults went from roughly 100 liters (22 gallons) in 1995 to about 75 liters (16 gallons) in 2020. According to some analysts, the dip in demand is due to a combination of factors including habits formed during Covid-related lockdowns and restrictions and an aging population. 


According to Japanese media outlets, reactions to the competition have been mixed. While some praised the idea as a way to boost government revenue and inspire creativity amongst younger people, others criticized the competition as promoting unhealthy habits and that the social/health costs of alcohol may outweigh the benefits of a slightly heightened tax revenue. 

Note: All images used in this article were retrieved from the public domain, and may be used for commercial purposes without citation or attribution. 




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