On April 1, the Civil Code and Juvenile Law will be revised, which will allow 18-year-olds to do many things without parental or guardian consent. This includes purchasing a cell phone, signing an apartment lease, taking out a car loan, signing up for a credit card, and even getting married. However, the legal age for buying alcohol and cigarettes, and gambling (on horse racing) will remain at 20.
Revisions to Japan’s Juvenile Law will also mean more severe punishment and criminal responsibility for 18-year-olds, who were previously considered minors when committing offenses in the eyes of the law. In addition to harsher penalties, a suspect's full name will be disclosed to the public when the revisions come into effect.
One unclear point is when young adults should celebrate their coming-of-age ceremony, which is typically observed for those who have turned 20 on Coming-of-Age Day (the second Monday of January). It turns out that the answer depends on where you live. Instead of the national law, municipal governments across Japan are responsible for deciding which age to celebrate this rite of passage into adulthood. Thus, some cities have announced that 18-year-olds may participate in the ceremony, while others have stated it will continue to be reserved for those who turn 20.© Japan Today