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Japan Age of Adulthood Being Lowered to 18

Image: Japan Age of Adulthood Being Lowered to 18

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By    |   Wednesday, 13 June 2018 11:53 AM

Japan's age of adulthood, at least in the eyes of the country's government, has been changed from 20 to 18, effective in 2022, allowing people to marry earlier and enjoy other benefits of adulthood, the BBC News reported.

Currently males 18 years and older and females 16 and older can marry in Japan, but only with the approval of their parents. If they cannot get approval, they have to wait until they are 20, the BBC said.

The new law also will allow 18-year-olds to get credit cards, make loans, and obtain passports without the prying eyes of their parents. The BBC News reported that those diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder will be able to apply to have their gender legally changed at the age of 18 as well.

The Japan Times wrote that the new law will also apply to cases where a child born into an international marriage seeks to obtain Japanese citizenship, with the revised law stating that the child's application must be completed by age 18, according to a Justice Ministry official.

What 18-year-old adults in Japan won't be able to do is belly up to the bar for a drink because the drinking age will remain at 20, the Times reported. The minimum age for smoking, gambling and other forms of state-run gaming will remain off limits until 20 as well.

The measure could deal a "huge blow" to Japan's kimono industry, Hidemitsu Miyamoto, president of the Kanagawa-based kimono firm Kimono Kuroudo Miyamoto, told the Japan Times.

"The coming-of-age ceremony has been something of a final stronghold for our industry's survival at a time when fewer and fewer people wear kimono, presenting what is perhaps the only opportunity for young people, especially women, to don the attire," Miyamoto said, according to the Japan Times.

"The new age of adulthood will probably bring about a huge change in the norms of the ceremony. … But from our point of view, I hope that the 20-year-old turning point will still be cherished, regardless of the legal change," he added.

Japan's ruling governing Liberal Democratic Party argued, though, that lowering the legal age of adulthood will help boost the country's falling birthrate, which has led to an aging society, the BBC News stated. The broadcaster said that Japan lowered its voting age to 18 in 2015.

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Japan is lowering the legal age of adulthood from 20 to 18, effective in 2022, allowing people to marry earlier and enjoy other benefits of adulthood.
japan, age, adulthood, lowered
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2018-53-13
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 11:53 AM
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