Seeking New Ways to Boost Revenue, Tokyo Tax Authority to Hold Ideas Competition on How to Boost Liquor Sales
Japan’s tax collector has launched a contest calling on citizens to come up with innovative ways to deal with declining alcohol sales, hoping to encourage young adults to hit the bar more often and donate a boost to government revenue.
The National Tax Agency (NTA) has dubbed the new campaign “Sake Viva! after Japan’s iconic rice wine, calling on anyone between the ages of 20 and 39 to submit business ideas for the country’s alcohol industry, which is lagging behind in the wake of Covid-19 and the decline in consumer habits across the country.
As stated on an official government website which gained international attention this week following local media reports, the contest will run until September 9 and asks “New products and designs” as well as ways to promote drinking at home. The winners will be invited to an awards ceremony in Tokyo in November, and the tax body has pledged to support investment in the winning idea.
The NTA noted that alcohol taxes accounted for around 3% of government tax revenue in 2011, but fell to 2% in 2020, citing the need to revitalize alcohol sales.
As seen in the same age group in other countries, young adults in Japan have significantly reduced their alcohol consumption in recent decades, with average annual adult consumption falling from 100 liters in 1995 to 75 liters in 2020.
Although Japan’s health ministry said it was not involved in the initiative, it expressed hope that the tax agency would only encourage “appropriate amount of alcohol consumption”, and said he was staying in touch with the NTA on the matter.
The competition is not the first of its kind, as the NTA has launched a project called “Enjoy Sake!” last year in a similar effort to launch new business ideas. It’s unclear if the latest campaign was successful given the continued decline in revenue, but the agency is trying another idea anyway.
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