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Official Age of Adulthood in Japan is Lowered

On April 1, 2022, the age of adulthood in Japan was lowered from 20 to 18. It was the first time in over 140 years to revise the definition of adulthood in Japan. We would like to talk about what will be different due to the revision, and how it will influence our daily life briefly in this article.

Contents

1. When the age of adulthood is lowered in Japan?

2. What is this revision for?

3. What will change?

4. Summery

1. When the age of adulthood is lowered in Japan?

The age of adulthood in Japan had been defined as starting from 20 since 1876. However, from April 1, 2022, according to a revision in the Civil Code, it was lowered from 20 to 18. Therefore, people who are 18 or 19 turned to be official adults on April 1, 2022.

2. What is this revision for?

Then what will be different to come of age from an underage? In the Civil Code, the age of adulthood includes the meanings of “the age enough to sign a valid contract alone” and “the age no longer subject to custody of parents”. For example, it will be able to make a contract of cell phone, a lease agreement for living alone, make a credit card, or to take out a loan without parent’s permission. Also, acquiring 10 years valid passport, or get jobs requiring government certifications such as certified public accountant or administrative scrivener will also be possible for those who are 18 or older.

In recent years, the government in Japan has been pursuing the policy of encouraging active social participation in government events by youth, such as stipulating 18 as the age of voting right for public officer election and referendum on constitutional amendments. Under such circumstances, on the Civil Code, which is related to daily life of citizens, it had been discussed to treat people 18 or older as adults as well. This revision is assumed aiming to respect the rights to self-determination of youth who are 18 and 19 as well as to encourage them to participate in the society proactively.

3. What will change?

On the other hand, even the official age of adulthood is lowered to 18, to prevent any harmful effects physically on the youth or gambling addition, it is still maintained to ban alcohol drinking, smoking and public gambling games (such as horse racing or bicycle racing) until 20, as it was before the revision.

Things will change/won’t change due to the revision of age of adulthood in Japan

What you can do when you turn to 18? What you can’t do until 20? (without change)
・Make a contract without parent’s permission   
→Cell phone contract
→Lease contract
→Make credit card
→Take out a loan
・Acquire 10 years valid passport
・Get jobs requiring government certifications   
(such as certified public accountant, administrative
scrivener) Etc.
・Drinking alcohol
・Smoking
・Horse racing / bicycle racing Etc.

4. Summery

Since the age of adulthood was lowered from 20 to 18, the adjustments in various aspects will be required. In addition, there are some vicious traders targeting the new adults who are yet lack of social experience and the knowledge regarding complicated regulations of contract. To avoid getting in troubles, it is desirable for the youth to acquire the knowledge about the rules and regulation regarding contract before coming of age.

We as Yanagi group have the offices in Osaka (Abeno and Tennoji) and our affiliated offices in Tokyo (Shibuya and Ebisu) are also available for on-site consultation. We have handled many applications for permanent residence permits, naturalization permits, work visas, college student visas, management visas, etc., as well as visa renewal procedures related to status of residence with the Immigration Bureau (Immigration Bureau) as a one-stop service. Our experienced administrative scriveners are also available to help you with any problems you may have. We also have staff members who can speak each of the native languages and can assist you in obtaining a visa.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your status of residence or visa, even if they are trivial.

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