National

Japan's young adults prefer celebrating coming of age at 20 despite lowered legal age of 18, survey shows

Kyodo

More than 70 percent of youths and young adults prefer to celebrate their coming-of-age at 20, even though the age of legal adulthood in Japan will be lowered to 18 in April 2022, according to a recent online survey by a Japanese think tank.

The Nippon Foundation survey, conducted in December targeting 800 people age between 17 and 19 nationwide, showed 74 percent of the respondents considered 20 as an appropriate age for attending the coming-of-age ceremony organized by local governments, compared with 23.9 percent preferring 18.

Asked in a multiple-choice question why they remain in favor of holding the ceremony at the traditional adulthood age of 20, 62.8 percent said a celebration at 18 would interfere with their preparations for entrance exams for universities and other schools, while 23.8 percent said they would be busy hunting for a job.

Some 70.6 percent said they would like to attend the ceremony, with many citing reasons such as the chance to reunite with former classmates and mark a new chapter in life.

Japanese municipalities hold ceremonies for new adults around Coming of Age Day, designated as the second Monday of January. Many women wear lavish kimono to mark the day, while some drunk participants have disrupted the ceremonies in the past.

The Nippon Foundation has been holding surveys on work, marriage and other topics targeting youth in the country, as Japan will lower the legal age of adulthood following a Civil Code revision. The country’s minimum voting age was also reduced to 18 after a revised election law came into effect in June 2016.