JAPAN’S TAX AGENCY WANTS YOUNG PEOPLE TO CONSUME MORE ALCOHOL
By Susan Lewis
Source: Sake Viva! website
Japan’s tax agency has called on the country’s young people to submit business plans to help revitalise the shrinking alcoholic beverages market which has contributed to a substantial fall in tax revenue.
With its catchy “Sake Viva!” campaign, the Japanese tax agency invites people aged 20 to 39 to come up with ideas for new products and designs to stimulate demand among young people for Japanese made alcoholic drinks.
The campaign website said: “domestic alcoholic beverage market is shrinking due to demographic and lifestyle changes as well as impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. In this project, we will appeal to young people for ideas to develop and promote Japanese alcoholic beverages, to help revitalise the industry.”
Submission was opened on 1 July and will close on 9 September, a shortlist will be announced on 27 September and interviews will be held on 10 November to decide who are the winners.
Taxes on alcohol products accounted for 5 percent of total revenue in 1980 in Japan, it declined to 3 percent in 2011 and continued to shrink to just 1.7 percent in 2020, according to data from the tax agency.
"As working from home made strides to a certain extent during the COVID 19 crisis, many people may have come to question whether they need to continue the habit of drinking with colleagues to deepen communication," an official at the tax agency told the The Japan Times.
"If the 'new normal' takes root, that will be an additional headwind for tax revenue," added the official.
A recent survey found that 42 percent of Japanese aged 20 to 39 have never consumed sake before, despite it being Japan's national drink.
According to figures released by the tax agency, Japan’s average per adult annual intake of alcoholic drinks has dropped from 100 litres per year in 1995 to 75 litres in 2020.
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