Japan urges young people to drink more alcohol

The Japanese government wants the nation’s youth to get drunk for their country.

Officials have launched a campaign to lure more young people into buying booze so the debt-ridden country can reap tax revenue from liquor sales, according to reports. 

The “Sake Viva!” campaign — created by the country’s tax agency — seeks business proposals from young people or groups with ideas on how to “revitalize” the nation’s booze industry, Bloomberg reported.

The campaign faced fierce criticism online, but a number of quirky proposals have flowed in, according to the BBC

One pitch included famous actresses “performing” as virtual bar workers in completely digital clubs, the BBC reported. 

The campaign comes as tax revenue from alcohol sales in Japan has dried out in recent years — potentially caused by an aging population and shifting tastes among young people. 

Japanese bar
Japan is in an enormous amount of debt and is seeking to collect tax revenue from booze sales.
Getty Images

In 2020, liquor sales in Japan amounted to about 2% of the total tax revenue, a 13% decrease from 2016, according to Bloomberg. 

Over the past quarter-century, residents of Japan have also reduced the amount of liquor they consume in an average year. 

In 1995, an average person drank about 22 gallons of alcohol per year in the country, according to the BBC. In 2020, a Japanese person drank about 16 gallons per year. 

Japan has the highest national debt in the world compared to its GDP. The country currently owes about $8.3 trillion, more than twice the size of its economy, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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