While some people believe that drinking alcohol is a problem, Japan’s problem is that their youth are not drinking enough alcohol to make money, so they are coming up with new ways to encourage young people to drink more. Since the pandemic began, Covid-19 restrictions have hit bars and other alcohol-selling establishments hard, causing sales – and liquor tax revenues – to plummet in the world’s third-largest economy. According to local media, officials stated that alcohol consumption in Japan has decreased from an average of 100 litres per person per year in 1995 to 75 litres in 2020.Total alcohol tax revenue fell by more than 110 billion Yen (or 806 million US dollars) in the 2020 fiscal year compared to the previous year.The “Sake Viva!” campaign hopes to devise a strategy to make drinking more appealing – and thus boost the industry.According to Mint, Japan’s National Tax Agency has launched the Sake Viva! campaign, which invites 20- to 39-year-olds to submit proposals to help revitalise the popularity of alcoholic beverages such as sake, whiskey, beer, or wine.According to CNN, the winner will receive support for their commercialization plan from the tax office.It wants competitors to devise promotional, branding, and even cutting-edge plans involving artificial intelligence.
Japan lifted its state of emergency in October 2021, allowing restaurants to sell alcohol again and stay open later – but restrictions remained in place in some areas of the country until March ’22.Since then, the country’s recovery has been slower than expected, hampered by rising inflation, the economic impact of Ukraine’s war, and recent surges in Covid cases that have resulted in prolonged restrictions.
By Subhechcha Ganguly
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