The Japanese government wants the young people of the country to get drunk for their country.
Authorities have launched a campaign to get more young people to buy alcohol so that the debt-ridden country can derive tax revenue from liquor sales, according to reports.
The “Sake Viva!” campaign – created by the country’s tax agency – solicits business proposals from young people or groups with ideas on how to “revitalise” the country’s alcohol industry, Bloomberg reported.
The campaign came under heavy criticism online, but a number of original proposals poured in, according to the BBC.
A pitch included famous actresses “performing” as virtual bar workers in all-digital clubs, the BBC reported.
The campaign comes as tax revenue from alcohol sales in Japan has dried up in recent years, potentially caused by an aging population and changing tastes among young people.
In 2020, alcohol sales in Japan accounted for about 2% of total tax revenue, down 13% from 2016, according to Bloomberg.
Over the past quarter century, residents of Japan have also reduced the amount of alcohol they consume in an average year.
In 1995, the average person drank around 22 gallons of alcohol a year in the country, according to the BBC. In 2020, a Japanese person drank around 16 gallons per year.
Japan has the highest national debt in the world relative to its GDP. The country currently owes about $8.3 trillion, more than twice the size of its economy, the the wall street journal reported.