The Japanese government has launched a nationwide competition to boost alcohol sales in the country. The competition asks young people for ideas on how to encourage people to drink more as changing attitudes have led to a serious decline in tax revenues in Japan, The Guardian reports.
- The Sake Viva! campaign is being run by the National Tax Agency. The competition is asking Japanese citizens between the ages of 20 and 39 to come up with ideas that would make alcohol popular with young people again. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the country’s youth have changed their lifestyles and are drinking far less.
- The competition is running until September 9. The NTA hopes that entrants can come up with “new products and designs” as well as methods that would make people want to drink more at home as well as in bars. Anyone who wants to take part should also consider coming up with sales ideas in the metaverse.
- So how much less alcohol are people drinking? It must be pretty serious for the Japanese government to step in, and it seems it is. According to the NTA, while the average consumption in 1995 was 100 liters per person, that went down to only 75 liters per person in 2020. Given that Japan’s budget is already in a ¥48tn ($343bn) deficit, this is kind of a big deal In 2020, the tax revenue from alcohol is said to have fallen by more than ¥110bn, the biggest drop in 31 years, according to the Japan Times.
- The NTA is worried that the loss of tax revenue could be dire if something isn’t done. “As working from home made strides to a certain extent during the Covid 19 crisis, many people may have come to question whether they need to continue the habit of drinking with colleagues to deepen communication,” an official at the agency told the Japan Times. “If the ‘new normal’ takes root, that will be an additional headwind for tax revenue.” For instance, there was a 20% reduction in sales of beer alone, which is pretty substantial.
- What do the winners of the competition get? Finalists are all invited to a gala awards ceremony in Tokyo on November 10, and the NTA is quick to mention that they’ll financially support the implementation of winning ideas.