Friday Aug 19, 2022
A tax agency in Japan that urged youngsters to drink more to amp up alcohol revenue is receiving backlash on social media.
The National Tax Agency launched an idea competition in July where it asked young people to pour ideas to help "revitalise" the country's liquor industry.
When the agency's move was covered by local and international media, it gained attention on Twitter.
For quite some time, Japanese brewers have been struggling as they see a decline in alcohol sales with a rise in health-consciousness and an ageing population, reported The Japan Times.
The alcohol industry started suffering especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, producers started to promote more low-alcohol products. The sharp fall in sales was further due to rising inflation.
The idea contest "Sake Viva" has a hashtag on Twitter that is receiving heated responses.
Some called the campaign "ridiculous" saying it was actually good that young people were avoiding alcohol.
Other users pointed out that Sake Viva contradicted the health ministry's guideline about "moderate drinking".
In 2020, nearly 2% of Japan's tax revenue came from liquor sales.
The deadline for the contest is September 9 and the finals will take place on November 10. The participants have to submit creative promotional methods where they can also use artificial intelligence and the metaverse.
Japan's health ministry did not take any action against the campaign saying that the contest did not encourage people to drink irresponsibly.