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Regarding Mark Schreiber’s Big in Japan column in the March 22 edition — “Why are Japan’s millennials shunning alcohol?” — in the good old days, when the Japanese economy was humming, the longer people worked the more compensation they might get.

We rarely saw any irregular workers in a company back then, and people took it for granted that a company where they had gotten a job became a quasi-family. It was the norm that when a boss went to an izakaya pub, subordinates knew they should follow. The boss often taught them how to get on in the world, and sometimes even set up arranged-marriage meetings.

Nowadays, when lifetime employment and the seniority system are no more than an illusion, it is natural that after-work traditions should vanish. The decrease in drinking alcohol by young people today represents how Japanese society has changed dramatically during the recent decades.

SHUICHI JOHN WATANABE
SAKAI, OSAKA PREFECTURE

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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