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Japan enacts law to lower adulthood age to 18

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What I want to know is, will they be treated as adults when they commit crimes? I haven't heard any discussion about that.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

but people under 20 will still be prohibited from drinking alcohol, smoking and gambling.

So the age of adulthood has NOT been changed.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

I know this will get down voted.... but I have lived in Japan over a decade and have taught 18-25 year old students for a long time. I hate to say this. Its just the way their society is wired, but I think they should RAISE the age to 22 or 24.

12 ( +22 / -10 )

So they can now get married, but not drink at the wedding.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

In line with the lowering of the adulthood age, revisions will be made to 22 related laws including those on nationality and passports

That will affect those children with dual nationality - it will bring forward the age at which they are asked to make a choice about which nationality they want.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"@stepoutsidethebox: I'm not asking this to attack you but, what made you think that?"

It is hard to explain this without sounding judgemental, because I am not.

I think Japanese people, on average, seem to mature into independency later than many western culture. I think this is because of the way society in Japan runs. Kids stay closer to home more and longer than in the west. Schools raise kids more than they do in the west and kids can largely depend on those around them like school and family to take care of nearly everything. I have taught college kids a long time. Smart, but largely clueless about the world around. If it isn't on one of their tests from school, they often don't know about it. I am constantly astonished by how unfamiliar many of my students are with common day things. How to google something, how to use MS word, what "billing address" means. They were never taught any of those things in school, or club, and its not one of their hobbies, so they don't know it. But once kids leave school, leave the house, they seem to grow instantly. It's like night and day I don't get it. Japanese are fast learners I suppose, but they don't seem to learn until they are on their own forced to learn by themselves and not being spoon fed which is often what Japanese society does until they leave school and enter the workforce.

I had my first job when I was 16. Many Japanese do not work until they are in university, some not until they are out of uni. I had my first girlfriend when I was 16. My first car when I was 16. Again these things come later in Japanese society. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Its not a race. And I don't want to say "maturity" but I think the average experience of an 18 year from the west is much greater than the experience of an 18 year old in Japan.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Why does Japan always make its rules so gdamn confusing. One age for this, another age for that. Just make it simple. 18 is adult age for everything. Drinking, being tried as an adult etc etc. They just did this to get more voters out. I'd love to see statistics about voter turnout in the next election.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

20? 18? It doesn't really make a big difference.

At the end of the day being an 'adult' in Japan doesn't mean you get treated like an adult. Nor does it mean you are expected to act like an adult.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I'm sure the motivation for this is only to get a new batch of easily brainwashed voters. I'm sorry, but Japanese kids are not adults at 18 years old. Most of them don't grow up until they are 35, if they grow up at all!

The restrictions like drinking and smoking and that other guff about consumer protection proves they are not adult enough to make their own decisions. I teach at a senior high school and cannot imagine any of my graduates living by themselves and making it on their own, which an adult should be able to do. It's all about getting votes.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Lower to 18 why ? 

So that the party which is popular among younger generation (LDP) can get more votes.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So, my oldest is now 16 years old, in 4 years he will be 20.

Will he have the coming of age ceremony when he is 20 ? This is weird.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

For me this is a little bit too late.

I came to Japan alone when I was 19, and I remember a lot of problems I had because even thou I was adult in my own country, I wasn't in Japan.

I wasn't able to even make a contract for a cellphone, bank account, and the already difficult real-state market was even more difficult with a lot of properties not accepting "minors".

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Finally! I've never felt that a person should be considered an "adult" from 20. That's way late. I disagree with the following:

....but people under 20 will still be prohibited from drinking alcohol, smoking and gambling.

Make it simple and clear. 18 is the age for adulthood in ALL matters including vices. In addition, I'm sure it will be but they'd better sentence crimes committed by 18-19 year olds as adults and no longer as "minors".

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japan is known for evolving very slowly and cautiously. No change.

I admit most Japanese are clueless about managing their life until late age on average. Parents' fault in my opinion.

Thanks to continuous rise of life expectancy, I would rather ask for older age for adulthood.

Remember Greeks invented democracy based on an individual's capacity to have a role in society and be in charge of himself.

Now politicians lowered to 18 to get access to pool of voters so easy to deceive.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japanese people would stand to gain quite a bit if they had mandatory military service as they do in South Korea - the men and women. Would put these same "adults" in a bit more mature and responsible light, rather than worrying about which of the friends have been to Tokyo Disney the most times, talking in loooooooong drawn out nosies rather than words, and all the other general immaturity that follows many Japanese into their late 20s.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Males can marry from 17 and females from 16 with parental permission.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What has me worried, even as the voting age was being lowered, is a possible prelude to a resurgent militarism and obligation to serve their country. South Korea is just one of many countries that serve as a precedent and template.

— 'In line with the lowering of the adulthood age, revisions will be made to 22 related laws including those on nationality and passports, but people under 20 will still be prohibited from drinking alcohol, smoking and gambling.'

Even in the 'Land of the Free and Home of the Brave', American boys have the obligation to fight and die for their country (Big Oil), but not an across-the-board right to drink or smoke.

The Jeitai 'Self-Defense Force' (increasingly an oxymoron) is the 7th most powerful military in the world, and the budget for the SDF is NOT dropping.

It was only about a year or two ago — just after an LDP appointed committee in the Ministry of Education proposed dropping humanities and the social sciences from public universities — that the largest union of scientists in Japan (mostly STEM), saw fit to meet and propose a law prohibiting the linking of funding for basic research with military applications (similar to the M.I.T.— DARPA connections which are the tip of the iceberg for America's military industrial complex.

Pardon the cynic in me, but I do not see this mish-mash of a law being proposed for the social good.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ilovecoffee, so people who are disabled and unable to work shouldn’t have a say in their government? Or unemployed people? Or people earning less than the amount on which taxes are paid? Or a non-working spouse?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Only people who pay taxes should be allowed to vote, regardless of the age.

All people pay taxes. Everyone even criminals pay sales tax. They also pay local taxes. Everyone pays income taxes but the amount paid below a set level is zero. There's capital gains taxes and inheritance taxes.

Missed out on my coming of year which at the time was 21 years but just coming up to that and my government lowered the age to 18 so my family cancelled my 21st party. Ever since I'm been a child locked in an adult body.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Paying zero income tax means you are paying no tax

Means you are paying the amount set by the system which allows all people to earn set amounts of wages before paying tax. But other taxes are paid like sales tax at 8%.

Almost half the US population does not pay income tax, and there are a lot of tax exemptions of all kinds, which the big corporations are taking advantage of

The post is about the age of majority being lowered in Japan and isn't even about taxes and nothing to do with whatever happens in America.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Paying zero income tax means you are paying no tax.

No. It does not. It means you are paying no income tax. You still pay sales tax, fuel tax, property tax, etc. Even when not paying those directly, you pay them indirectly by paying rent, heat, electricity, etc.

Several economists and researchers in the past have calculated that the federal government and all its programs are largely funded by the poor and lower middle class, yet it is the upper middle class and the rich that constantly votes for more taxes despite not paying any.

So, now you are arguing against your original point of only taxpayers should be allowed to vote?

Confusing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

IloveCofffee

Yes, because people who don't pay taxes have no skin in the game.

Assuming you mean "pay taxes" then you are excluding a large number of citizens the right to vote and decide which kind of government and society they have. Housewives, the unemployed and sick at the time of an election. The sick and disables. Mothers who stay at home to care for children. The low paid who earn less than the amounts for taxes.

I don't know in detail how the tax system works in Japan

So why post on a Japanese forum? Anyway you can play with this tax calculator.

http://japantaxcalculator.com

We can pay "pay taxes" directly and indirectly too. If I buy a product or pay for a service then a percentage of the cost includes business profit which is taxed and expenses and costs which includes workers pay who in turn pay tax.

Even homeless people pay sales tax.

The problem with Japan is similar to that of the US, which is lack of savings and capital investment. 

No Japanese have one one the highest personal savings at an average of 11-15 million yen. The post office savings account is one of the largest in the world. I think its two hundred trillion yen. ($2 trillion).

Allowing more illiterate non-tax paying kids to vote 

The rate in Japan is less than 1%. In America that rate is about 15% of all adults.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“law to revise the Civil Code and lower the age of adulthood to 18 from 20, with the aim of spurring social participation by youth in rapidly aging Japan.”

Solcial participation? Highly doubt it. Everyone will be glued to their smartphones. Young Japanese will continue not to hit on young women.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ridiculous that they're changing the legal limit for everything except drinking, smoking, and gambling. So now, according to the law as it will pass, adults can't drink. Tobacco and alcohol companies and everything related, are going to have to change all their signs from "minors" to "minors and adults under 20". They're probably going to worry about Coming of Age Day for the two years after this law passes, so they'll prohibit said Ceremony for people under 20 as well, meaning that they'll have come of age, but not been able to celebrate it, but only due to complaints from hair salons and hotels, etc.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Now politicians lowered to 18 to get access to pool of voters so easy to deceive.

Voters of ALL ages can be pretty easy to deceive. That's self-evident by Abe's longevity, and even more so by the 2016 presidential election in the US.

Lowering the voting age will only help to replace the racist, sexist dinosaurs in the Diet with new faces. (albeit, possibly just younger racist, sexist men.)

The youth vote, along with the women's vote, have certainly helped in limited elections so far in the US in 2017 and 2018. Perhaps, Japan might be helped by more female candidates, and higher female voter turnout, as well.

The biggest change that could be implemented by ALL democracies would be to enact term limits. That would help to ensure that politicians' motives are more about public service than making a living as corrupt leeches living off the public dole and corporate graft.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To those complaining about the drinking age still being 20, remember that it is 21 in the good ole US of A.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How about making adulthood the same for both male and female? 15, 16, 18, 20, 35, don't care, but it should be equal.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

But 16 is the age of consent for sex?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I firmly believe that teenagers need to 'experiment' things, make mistakes, explore their own limits etc and as bad as it may sound, having the first pint and/or joint/cigarette/sexual experience/run in with the police (ok not the last one!) between 15-18 is part of growing up.

Not saying all kids will/should be on the grog by the time they turn 18 but imo keeping the drinking legal age at 20 (in today's world!) sends the wrong message. I reckon 18yo is about right for a country like japan.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If the goal here was to get more people voting then they need a rethink.

It's almost impossible to get that age bracket to vote, and on top of that they're japanese so ...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A Civil Code clause that allows the cancellation of contracts concluded by minors without the consent of parents or legal representatives no longer applies to 18- and 19-year-olds.

This worries me, since that is around the age when porn recruiters start pressuring/coercing girls into binding contracts in that industry. There were a few cases reported recently that basically amount to girls being raped on camera through threats of massive fines. Though they say that there will be protections in place for cases where coercion is is suspected - this will be hard to prove.

Also regarding the coming of age ceremonies, i suspect this will stay the same at 20. In Australia we are legally adults at 18 yet we still have the ceremonial 21st birthday celebrations as if it actually meant anything.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good point fishy, how will this affect coming of age celebrations? At what age would they "qualify"?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@stepoutsidethebox: I'm not asking this to attack you but, what made you think that? That

0 ( +1 / -1 )

About time too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lower to 18 why ? so they can hang 'em earlier ?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Funny how this actually goes into effect after Abe will be out of office!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Paying zero income tax means you are paying no tax.

No it doesn't. What a silly idea.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If Jiminto is after easy votes, I hope this backfires on them. I hope the kids.. er.. adults, take offense to the fact that they are expected to take on increased responsibilities as adults, yet are not trusted enough to make their own decisons about drinking, smoking and gambling. It's yet another contradiction and it's obviously about money and votes more-so than it is for allowing social evolution.

This government always leaves the humanity out of their decisions and errs toward the hardcore conservative (self-serving) side of things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

fishyJune 13  04:31 pm JST

So, my oldest is now 16 years old, in 4 years he will be 20.

Will he have the coming of age ceremony when he is 20 ? This is weird.

I reckon they will keep it at 20. It would kinda spoil the fun of the day if they can't all legally go out on the lash after the ceremony.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Disillusioned, STepoutsidethebox, Agreed!

AgentX, good luck with that!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dear Govt. what boy's and girl's will do after marriage in 18? which already doing without marriage.

If you are worry about population then increase the benefit for new married couple, new born baby, increase no. of kindergarten with easy entering policy, give benefit during elementary, Jr. High & High school admission rather than you spend B. of USD in overseas by JICA.

Dear Govt., please make sure if no population who generate revenue for foreign investment by JICA???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I liked the 20 as coming of age and wished it were so in Canada where it can vary between 18 and 19 depending on the province.

I don't see why Japan has to conform to the world in this case at all. The brain doesn't stop developing until around 25 so the higher the legal age restrictions to this the better off the kids are.

This is really a snide LDP attempt to bring about nationalism and set the conditions for a war they want

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't know in detail how the tax system works in Japan, i can only speculate that the people who vote for tax increases are the people who pay no taxes at all.

You can speculate, but you'd be wrong.

I'm ok with taxes, and I probably pay a lot more than the majority of people here, between personal income tax and business taxes. Sure tax sucks, but living in a society that has enough money to take care of infrastructure and people is very appealing to me.

I don't know in detail how the tax system works in Japan, i can only speculate that the people who vote for tax increases are the people who pay no taxes at all.

Well, no one actually votes for or against tax increases. They vote for people who work for/against tax increases. I can tell you that my sister, who lives in America, has voted for the people who would vote for tax increases, and she and her husband are also business owners like me, and pay a lot of taxes.

So if you're going to continue making this claim that people who vote for tax increases don't pay any, you're going to have to actually provide something to support this assertion. At the moment it seems like something you've made up based on American political party lines, rather than on any kind of actual data and real information.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

24 is the right number for both ages for being adulthood, to be allowed drinking and smoking

18 is the right number for both ages for being Youngerhood (a new word just created by me), to be allowed for sex and marriage and also related to the crime.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Michael Jackson - Right? I was thinking, when my son turns 20, kids who are 18 are also adults.. very weird.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

That will affect those children with dual nationality - it will bring forward the age at which they are asked to make a choice about which nationality they want.

I think the age of 20 years to decide nationality will remain in place just as no smoking, no drinking.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So, now you are arguing against your original point of only taxpayers should be allowed to vote?

Confusing.

How so? My point was that, the people who vote for tax increases are usually the people who don't pay any taxes at all, which is the upper middle class for the most part, and some of the rich class.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The post is about the age of majority being lowered in Japan and isn't even about taxes and nothing to do with whatever happens in America.

I don't know in detail how the tax system works in Japan, i can only speculate that the people who vote for tax increases are the people who pay no taxes at all.

In the United States, the people who vote for more taxes are the people who pay no taxes at all. Usually the debate is not whether or not we should all pay more taxes, but whether or not the rich should pay more taxes. That's why i said that, only people who pay taxes should be allowed to vote.

The problem with Japan is similar to that of the US, which is lack of savings and capital investment. They need to raise the interest rates, cut down on government spending so people can save money. The inflation and the easy money policy that has been going on for 30 years is what is destroying the Japanese economy. Allowing more illiterate non-tax paying kids to vote isn't going to help at all.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So if the adult age is now 18, does that mean the numbers of 18 yr "women" entering the porn industry will increase? There are regular numbers of 20 yr old women entering the industry I'm guessing because they don't need their parents permission, will be interesting what happens now.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All people pay taxes. Everyone even criminals pay sales tax. They also pay local taxes. Everyone pays income taxes but the amount paid below a set level is zero. There's capital gains taxes and inheritance taxes.

Paying zero income tax means you are paying no tax. Almost half the US population does not pay income tax, and there are a lot of tax exemptions of all kinds, which the big corporations are taking advantage of. Several economists and researchers in the past have calculated that the federal government and all its programs are largely funded by the poor and lower middle class, yet it is the upper middle class and the rich that constantly votes for more taxes despite not paying any.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Ilovecoffee, so people who are disabled and unable to work shouldn’t have a say in their government? Or unemployed people? Or people earning less than the amount on which taxes are paid? Or a non-working spouse?

Yes, because people who don't pay taxes have no skin in the game. If i don't pay taxes, it's easy for me to vote for the government to take your money and give it to me, but if i am one of those people whose money will be taken, i might think twice before deciding who to vote for.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Only people who pay taxes should be allowed to vote, regardless of the age.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

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