A panel of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is studying a proposal to lower the legal age for drinking alcohol and smoking from 20 to 18.
Opinions were divided over the issue at the panel’s first meeting this week. Fuji TV reported. Proponents said that because the voting age has been lowered to 18, it is reasonable to lower the drinking and smoking age to 18 as well.
However, opponents expressed concern that it would cause health problems among young people, promote anti-social behavior and cause them to spend too much money on alcohol and cigarettes.
I – Word Understanding
panel – a group of people working together to discuss and decide on a particular matter
proponents – supporters / advocates
II – Have Your Say
Adult at 18?
1. When should a person be considered adult? Adolescence no longer ends when
people hit 18, according to updated guidelines being given to child psychologists.
The new directive is designed to extend the age range that child psychologists can work with from 18 years old up to 25.
2. Binge drinking is the practice of consuming large quantities of alcohol in a single session. About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.
3. A new report suggests that lowering the drinking age may solve the problem of binge drinking on college campuses. However, some studies also see higher high school dropout rates in places where drinking age has been lowered.