National

Number of new Japanese adults up slightly on New Year's Day

Kyodo

The number of Japanese aged 20, the legal age of adulthood, on New Year’s Day will be 1.25 million, up 20,000 from a year earlier, according to a government estimate released Monday.

But new adults will make up only 0.99 percent of the total population of 126.32 million, remaining below 1 percent for the ninth straight year. The figure was nearly half the 2.46 million in 1970, the most since officials began compiling comparable data in 1968.

Within the shrinking population, the number of new adults has been declining since the mid-1990s after the “second baby boomers,” born between 1971 and 1974, reached adulthood.

Of the 1.25 million, 640,000 are men and 610,000 are women, according to the statistics from the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

With 2019 being the Year of the Boar under the 12-sign Chinese zodiac, the number of people born in previous such years in Japan totals 10.55 million.

Notable figures born in the Year of the Boar include award-winning film director Takeshi Kitano, pop star Hikaru Utada and Yoshihide Kiryu, a member of Japan’s silver medal-winning men’s 4×100 relay team at the Rio Olympics.

The age of legal adulthood will be lowered from 20 to 18 in April 2022, following a Civil Code revision. The minimum voting age was also reduced to 18 after a revised election law came into effect in June 2016.