Japan’s push to get young people to drink more is facing backlash online

A campaign by Japan’s tax agency to boost alcohol revenue by encouraging young people to drink has met with fierce backlash on social media, with users criticizing the taxman for dictating people’s lifestyle choices.

The NRA’s ‘Sake Viva!’ foreign media reported on the move.

The country’s brewers are struggling to stem a decline in alcohol sales due to more health-conscious consumers, an aging population and changing tastes among the young. A sharp drop in alcohol sales at restaurants and bars during the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted manufacturers to resort to promoting products with even lower alcohol content, while rising inflation further squeezes profits.

The ‘Sake Viva’ Twitter hashtag was full of heated responses. One user called the campaign “ridiculous”, saying that young people avoiding alcohol should be seen as a good thing. This view was followed by others, with some users noting that the campaign appeared to be at odds with Department of Health guidelines that encourage moderate drinking.
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