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Seijin no Hi: record low number of Japanese reach adulthood


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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This year, the number of young adults celebrating their Coming of Age fell by 40,000 over last year, reflecting Japan's declining birthrate. Disillusioned, risk-averse twenty-year-olds contribute to a perpetuation of Japan's stagnation and gerontocratic politics:

Studies of young Japanese attitudes towards work and business suggest that the country's relentless demographic woes have nurtured a desire for stability above all else. A number of 20-year-olds told the Financial Times that their central ambition was to join a company and avoid risk. Starting a business represented a terrifying leap into the unknown, said several. For similar reasons, the support for the ruling Liberal Democratic party among young people is higher than among other generations. That reflected a view among 20-year-olds that the political landscape was unlikely to ever change, said Junji Nakagawa, a professor at Chuo Gakuin University. "They don't think the economy will get better in the future because the economy has been growing at a very low pace as far as they can remember. The number of students who want to become local public servants has increased recently as they want stability," said Nakagawa. A 19-year-old male student who will be newly counted as an adult from April said he voted for an LDP candidate last October. "We are literally in a state of emergency with Covid-19, so how can I suddenly entrust my will to another party? I can't trust any," said the student, who did not want to be named. "So that's why I want things to be kept as they are."

Record low number of Japanese reach adulthood as demographic woes deepen
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