According to the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan’s population in 2010 was 128 million (128,056,026). Since Japan is collecting census only every five years, an estimated population 127 million (127,760,000) with a decrease percentage of 0.2% because of countless deaths that was reported due to the recent massive catastrophe that hit the country. With the change of population in Japan so is the increase in the number Japanese who are indulging into alcoholism. In fact, in a recent survey, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare estimated that there are roughly 800,000 alcoholics in the country right now, nevertheless, if “pre-alcoholics” are to be included, it would account to a surprising number of 4.4 million.
Since the 1990s, the commencement of the 21st century up to the present, a significant increase on the number of alcoholics in Japan was observed. In 2003, a study was conducted among pre-alcoholic drinkers or the “underage drinkers” and the young adults. In Japan, the legal age for drinking is 20 years old, which is according to the Law Prohibiting Minors from Drinking. “Young Adults’’ on the other hand is defined as those whose ages range from 20 years old to 29 years old. A cross-sectional survey and an on-going longitudinal study were used. This was being done through the comparison of data gathered in the 1984 and the 2003 national surveys of alcoholism in the country.
Prior to discussing the figures of increases on the number of alcoholics in the Japan, several aspects shall be evaluated fully like the drinking norms in Japan and some of the most recent experiences they have had in the country. We would like to put a strong emphasis on the causes itself and its relation to the gradual or accelerated increments on the number of alcoholics in the country....
Prior to discussing the figures of increases on the number of alcoholics in the Japan, several aspects shall be evaluated fully like the drinking norms in Japan and some of the most recent experiences they have had in the country. We would like to put a strong emphasis on the causes itself and its relation to the gradual or accelerated increments on the number of alcoholics in the country. The Drinking Tradition in Japan The Normal Drinking Patterns of the Japanese In tradition, drinking of alcohol was only an accepted opportunity for middle-aged men while this was being restricted to young people as well as the women. Because of this, the highest drinking consumption has been always accounted to the middle-aged population for both the male and female in all national surveys in the past, at least, starting from the point where ALCOHOL ADDICTION IN JAPAN 3 national surveys took place. Further, there was also a noticeable gender differences when it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages: women drink less than men do. The Alcohol Consumption of Japan Japan’s alcohol consumption has relatively increased since the clinching the Second World War. For the last couple of years, it has been recorded that Japan’s alcoholic consumption has risen to 6.5 liters annually. Accessibility of Alcohol in Japan Being the sole country in the world to have generated availability of alcohol on vending machines, this has relatively increased the number of young adults who had access to liquors. Added to that is the ease of access because these vending machines were located just outside the superstores, convenience stores and shops. In 1996, there was an estimated 186,000 operational vending machines throughout the entire country. But the