A national campaign has been started by the Japanese government to encourage youth alcohol consumption. The promotion of alcohol usage comes at a time when studies indicate that Japan just experienced the largest decline in alcohol tax revenue in 31 years. The National Tax Agency (NTA) is running the "Sake Viva!" campaign, which challenges youth to provide ideas for reviving the appeal of alcoholic beverages. The competition, which is open until September 9, 2022, requests new business ideas and designs as well as strategies for promoting alcohol drinking. 

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The official campaign website says the domestic alcoholic beverage market is contracting as a result of lifestyle changes brought on by the new coronavirus illness, as well as demographic trends including the ageing population and dropping birthrate. In this initiative, we will target young people for the growth and marketing of Japanese alcoholic beverages and, at the same time, we will revitalise the sector by announcing fantastic plans, by allowing young people to suggest their own business strategies. 

It is believed that the younger generation consumes less alcohol than their parents did, which has reduced the tax revenue from drinks like sake (rice wine). According to government statistics, the average amount of alcohol consumed by Japanese citizens in 2020 was 20 gallons, down from 26 gallons in 1995. Rich tax revenues have been harmed by the decline: In 2020, alcohol-related taxes made for 1.7% of Japan's total tax revenue, down from 3% in 2011 and 5% in 1980.  

The national tax office has therefore stepped by holding a national competition to generate concepts to buck the trend. The "Sake Viva!" campaign seeks to develop a strategy that will increase consumer interest in drinking and grow the sector. Whether it's for Japanese sake, shochu, whisky, beer, or wine, the competition urges 20 to 39-year-olds (when applying as a group, up to 3 people), to present their business ideas to spark demand among their peers.  

People on social media stated that it should be viewed favourably if young people choose to abstain from drinking. They also emphasized how the message conflicts with the health ministry's advice, which supports moderate drinking. However, according to a source, the Japanese Ministry of Health noted that while it is not a part of the campaign, it is aware of the National Tax Agency's promotional initiative. They added that it is consistent with the advice it offers, which is to use alcohol sensibly. 

According to Bloomberg, the campaign is not intended to persuade consumers to drink more, as stated by the National Tax Agency. They claimed that the effort is intended to support the alcohol business at a time when it is being affected by issues like COVID-19 and an ageing population.