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Japanese youth mark Coming of Age day in falling numbers

Japanese youth mark Coming of Age day in falling numbers

The smallest group of Japanese youths in nearly two decades to mark their transition into adulthood celebrated the occasion Monday, amid growing concerns about Japan's low birth rate and rising elderly population.
Coming of Age Day _ a public holiday _ traditionally honors those youths who turned 20 during the preceding year, the age of adulthood at which they can legally vote and drink alcohol.
About 1.39 million Japanese reached that milestone in 2006, about 30,000 more than the smallest group on record did in 1987, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said in a recent statement.
Hundreds of thousands of the newly arrived adults took part in ceremonies marking the event at city halls, temples and other public venues across the nation, including Tokyo Disneyland just outside the capital.
The day has long been an occasion for Japanese youth to dress in rarely worn formal outfits, typically colorful kimonos for women and suits or tuxedos for men.
As a percentage of the population, the 2006 group was the smallest on record, at 1.09 percent of Japan's 127.3 million people, the ministry said.
The figures reflect gloomy population data, which have sparked fears of a labor shortage, eroded tax base and strain on the pension system as fewer taxpayers try to support Japan's increasing elderly population.


Updated : 2021-10-21 22:11 GMT+08:00