Japan Has Just Started a Nationwide Drinking Competition

Due to a downward trend in alcohol consumption.
IMAGE SHUTTERSTOCK

Lifestyle changes were inevitable during the pandemic. In Japan's case, one of the global health crisis' effects on its citizens apparently is lower drinking numbers among young people. Its solution? To launch a nationwide drinking competition.

The government's "Sake Viva!" campaign will be ran by the National Tax Agency (NTA), and it calls upon citizens from the ages of 20 to 39 to join.

“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,” one NTA official told the Japan Times. “If the ‘new normal’ takes root, that will be an additional headwind for tax revenue.”

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Data from the NTA suggests that alcohol consumption in Japan has gone down from 100 liters per individual to what was only 75 liters in 2020. This has created a national budget deficit of more than ¥48 trillion (roughly P20 trillion). Taxes on alcohol also accounted for 1.7 percent of Japan's tax revenues back in 2020. It had previously been three percent in 2011. In 1980, that figure was at five percent. Total revenues from alcohol tax income in 2020 was also at its lowest in 31 years.

The competition will run until September 9 as a way to promote drinking at home. Contestants are also asked to suggest ideas for various sales methods to address the deficit.

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