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Japan liquor businesses turn to non-alcoholic drinks to attract Gen Z

By Irene Wang and Tom Bateman

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OMG I need to get back to Japan

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

It seems the young generation is ready to change things. If only the same would apply to the government.

10 ( +21 / -11 )

When I was at college, as youngsters we all drank a fair amount, just one of the foolish things we did, but as we grow older not only do we (hopefully) grow wiser but other things fill our lives and time, and the consumption of alcohol moderates. These days I usually only have a glass with a meal once or twice a week on average.

“We have heard the chimes at midnight” Henry IV part two, act three.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I think It is a good thing for many people to have opportunaties for nice places where no-drinkers can go.

But I am not sure if it will be a succesful business in Japan.

Japan is a drinking culture and most of the people want to relax and stress out after work with an alcohol drink.

Most of the drinkers are salarymen after work. Go to Kanda on a weekend. Most of the places are empty or even closed at the weekend, because no after work drinking.

And all restaurants and Izakayas in Japan offers both, alcohol and no alcohol drinks. Among my coworkers and friends there are also some people who can not or dont want to drink, but they dont want to go to a non alcohol bar or something like that.

If they want a completely free alcohol place, they go to Starbucks. And there you can also have a good communication.

And let's be honest...the taste of a non alcohol beer, non alcohol wine, or non alcohol sour is totaly bad compare with the alcohol one.

I had once a non alcohol lemon sour from a supermarket. The taste was very aweful and artificial.

No idea what is more toxic for my body, this artificial one without alcohol or the original one with alcohol.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

The popularity of low- and non-alcoholic drinks has risen worldwide, accelerated by the pandemic, which led many people to be more health conscious.

Not me unfortunately. After the closure of the dojos around the country, my alcohol intake has doubled, I'm sorry to say. Although, my bodybuilding schedule has quadrupled. Happy to get off the sauce once I can train MA full time again.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

It's sensible as well as strategic. Beverage companies will be able to avoid alcohol taxes.

It's also a rebellious move while Japan's taxmen are trying to promote alcohol consumption for youth, which I find rather odd.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Yep. So they're all addicted to sugar now. And that's actually as addictive or more addictive than alcohol. Starbucks worked that out in Japan many years ago and now the Japanese beverage companies have finally cottoned on. Will be excellent business for all, including big pharma in the future as we face an diabetes epidemic.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

There is non alcohol bar in Roppongi that just serves fancy fruit juice cocktails - mostly female clientele. Nothing wrong with that of course, but they charge 1200yen per drink which is just a scam.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

I don't think replacing alcohol with sugar is a good idea. Cancer feeds on sugar.

One problem in Japan is in regards to how they drink alcohol. It's turned a lot of people off. It's a lot more pleasant when you drink at a bar at your own pace, even if that means one mug of beer a night without someone telling you to have another and another and another.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

What a bunch of wimps today's youth seem to be.

Just got back from the pub. The notion of a night out without a bit of booze is just too dull to imagine.

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

i think this is a good thing. The problem is when they replace alcohol with more sugar so you get the sugar high followed by a sugar crash. How about replacing alcohol with cannabis instead? Ha! Won’t happen here will it?

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Makes sense, especially if you have to drive or more likely, work the next day. Its annoying

Noticed more and more young people of my age or lower don't drink compared to my older co-workers who are like "I drink 5 beers or wines etc a night -smile-". A smart business would obviously be the one to capitalize on it. As much as I love my beer and cocktails, I get it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Hopefully, all the bars will be 100% smoke-free, too.

The sooner, the better. Be sure to include that happy condition with all the talk about "health".

6 ( +10 / -4 )

What’s with the hand socks ?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I would love to see the comparison between alcohol and sugar related deaths. Neither are good for you.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Alcohol can be produced from sugar ,Liver Cancer ,Throat Cancer, are the top cancers of Alcohol

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I have never ever gone to a bar and ordered a non alcohol drink. I find the whole idea exceedingly odd.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Millennials and Gen Z need to relax and have some fun. The number of "hook up" partners, lost weekends and fun are in sharp decline.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Less women drinking? Less people are gonna hook up. Less opposite sex socialization? Even lower birth rates are coming.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Less women drinking? Less people are gonna hook up. Less opposite sex socialization? Even lower birth rates are coming.

Exactly. And notice how they have all these women only parties? Pretty much beome the norm in Japan now. Women only places are everywhere now..

The current low birhrate was reached even quicker than predicted at a full 10 years ahead of government projections. It's definitely only going to accelerates as socialisation between the sexes decreases even more.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Bill Adams

Just got back from the pub. The notion of a night out without a bit of booze is just too dull to imagine.

You must have some dull friends. They're not? Then, maybe the problem is with someone else.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

This country has a serious alcohol problem. It's a good thing that people have alternatives, and aren't felt pressured to drink alcohol.

Hopefully, the young people are saying no to the ridiculous nomikai, as well.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Excellent, Japan setting the example to the rest of the world..

Decadent west = Have less kids, drink less alcohol..

First world Japan = Have more kids, drink more alcohol..

What a bunch of wimps today's youth seem to be.

Just got back from the pub. The notion of a night out without a bit of booze is just too dull to imagine.

So, according to your "machito alpha" logic... Does the fact of consuming alcohol make you more masculine, stronger and happier????..

Really ??????... (facepalm).. LOL..

-15 ( +2 / -17 )


What’s with the hand socks ?

Maybe people are finding other uses for all the old loose socks that nobody wears anymore.

Man, I miss them. So damn cute.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Facing a steady decline in revenue from alcohol sales, Japan's tax office in July launched a contest seeking ideas on how to stimulate demand among younger people.

I find this statement extremely troubling and makes me rather angry. So the a Government tax department is trying to find a way to lure more young people into being alcoholics so they can keep the level their taxes levels from decreasing. This to me is the same as a drug pusher giving out free drugs and get kids hooked on it in order to increase their revenues. The supposed reason for taxing things like alcohol and cigarettes, both of which are a form of drug, is to make them more expensive to supposedly deter people from using them but this complete hogwash! Many will and do become dependant on them which if they do often has a very negative effect on themselves and their families! Taxing alcohol and cigarettes is simply another way of adding to the tax pot voluntarily because you can’t do without either.

I do not agree with any government run tax department attempting to stimulate the growth of sales of an industry that creates social problems. It’s diabolical! Someone with just a little integrity whin the government or opposition should be looking into this very seriously indeed. If I was a reporter I would be following this up with interviews and some very hard questions to the people who dreamed this nonsense up!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Gen Z, ...some of the most unambitious, boring, uninspired, misdirected creatures on the planet. You never cease to amaze. I truly pity the entire generation. (makes said toast with alcoholic beverage)

I couldn't agree more.

Legalize marijuana, use that money for the public coffers and allow people the freedom to choose their own mode of relaxation.

I honestly don't think legalizing marijuana is the best thing for Japan, they have a completely different mindset and outlook on life, for the west we have had hundreds of years dealing with it and using it in all kind of ways, most Japanese have no idea of the potential benefits pros and cons of the herb and in not knowing or understanding it can lead to bad consequences. When I first came to Fukuoka back in 2001 you could actually legally buy shrooms in the smoke shops. One day, a friend of mine and I, with two other girls did some shrooms together, one of the girls was ok, but the other one got paranoid, had a very bad trip, screaming and crying for over 2 hours and it just messed up everything for all of us that did have a good time, both of the women were Japanese by the way, and subsequently after that there were reports going through the airwaves that people were having bad trips, having hallucinations etc. not too long after that, they were banned in Fukuoka first, and then all over Japan around 2005 or so. So while I personally don't have a problem with anything that is natural to use for recreational use, I just can't see the Japanese embracing it or even really understanding it and how you should take or use it because of the negative stigma attached to it, and how they were all raised with that marijuana is a drug, and therefore it is illegal and bad is just deeply embedded in this culture.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Glad to see individuals can have a nice gathering without having alcohol. Always remember, we DO NOT need alcohol to have a good time. Especially in Japan with a large variety of leisure activities (maybe more than any other country) who needs to have alcohol. With all the choices of leisure activities Japan (and maybe neighboring Taiwan was well) is one of the last countries on earth that need alcohol.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I find nothing wrong with this, except by saying they are more health conscious is questionable considering Sheesha or Hookah is popular.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Drinking beer IS big and clever!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Whatever they are drinking you just know they are not talking about world affairs,current affairs r the national debt.

The Japanese have been taught how not to think.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

If things go well maybe the damn breweries will stop having so much power and alcoholism rates may go down, just not betting on this to happen because it totally depends on people of gen z

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Facing a steady decline in revenue from alcohol sales, Japan's tax office in July launched a contest seeking ideas on how to stimulate demand among younger people."

People really think that the governments around the world are sensible and have their best interests at hand? Governments around the world are just angling for people's money. It is just like the saying goes "We are from the government and we are here to help you." Yeah, right.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It'd be nice to have places where non-smokers can go and enjoy a drink, too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Bass funk: you are totally wrong about hemp and Japanese culture. Only since American occupation have the cropping of hemp was made illegal. It was the best quality Hemp in Asia and known as the best sail materials and top quality cloth made the priest hood of Shito who were bared from wearing silk. It was also a good cash crop for farmers. Always grown on the south side of mountain on steep ground. It was also used by the farmers for smoking and medicine. To say Japanese have no knowledge or experience with hemp is totally wrong. This drinking culture as developed since American occupation not prior. 90% of Japanese were farmers prior to Menji era and luck to get drunk once a year during festivals. This is the main reason for the festival culture in Japan. I don’t know where you obtain your info on Japanese history and culture but it totally wrong.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

AdamsToday 09:13 am JST

What a bunch of wimps today's youth seem to be.

> Just got back from the pub. The notion of a night out without a bit of booze is just too dull to imagine.

So true on both fronts.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Just got back from the pub. The notion of a night out without a bit of booze is just too dull to imagine.

You must not have much of an imagination. And a bit of an alcohol dependency.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

People saying Alcohol increases birthrate is delusional. There are other ways of finding spouses, and there is a system called Goukon. There is also many marriage finding programs where you pay to get into a system where they try to find you a spouse.

Instead of going to the bar, maybe try that instead. Alcohol is not good for you anyway, its terrible. Its good Japan is going towards more healthy drinks. Sugar is bad too ofc, but not as bad as Alcohol.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A night out with no alcohol in Japan:

Person 1: ...

Person 2: ...

Person 1: eh, nanika iimashitaka?

Person 2: ah, iie, sumimasen

Person 1: ah, soudeshitaka, sumimasen

Person 2: ...

Person 1: ...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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