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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 November 19 - 25  > NPO criticizes Japan’s liquor regulations as lax
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2014 November 19 - 25 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

NPO criticizes Japan’s liquor regulations as lax

November 22, 2014
While the government took a step to tackle the health risks associated with alcohol, an NPO working to support alcoholics is demanding a tighter regulation on the advertisement and sales of alcoholic beverages.

The basic law for preventing health problems due to alcohol consumption came into effect in June. The government in October called a meeting of a committee composed of 17 members, including experts, to discuss a basic plan for measures to deal with health hazards caused by consuming alcohol.

Imanari Tomomi, who is a member of the committee and is the NPO head on November 22 in an Akahata interview criticized Japan’s regulations on liquor trade as overly lax compared to other developed economies, such as the U.S., Britain, and France.

Imanari pointed out that in Japan, people are exposed to TV commercials in which young actresses in their early 20s are openly drinking liquor. In contrast, alcohol ads on TV are banned in France, and people appearing on these ads have to be at least 25 years old in the U.S. and Britain, according to Imanari.

She said that in Japan, it is easy for retailors to obtain a license to sell alcohol and people can purchase alcohol from vending machines, which is illegal in France.

Imanari said that no license is required to serve alcoholic beverages in restaurants. Stressing that even selling or serving liquor to already intoxicated individuals is allowed in Japan, she said, “This would not be allowed in many other countries.” Imanari argued that the government should prohibit restaurants and bars from pushing the all-you-can-drink system to attract customers, which is common in Japan but illegal in Britain.
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