In Japan, the age of adulthood is legally defined as 20 years old. This means that once a person reaches this age, they are considered an adult in the eyes of the law and can begin to exercise certain rights and responsibilities that come with adulthood. While this is the legal definition of adulthood in Japan, many people have questioned whether or not 20 is truly the age of adulthood in Japan. In this article, we will explore why 20 is considered the age of adulthood in Japan and how it affects Japanese society.
2. Japan’s Legal Definition of Adulthood
In Japan, the legal definition of adulthood is 20 years old. According to Article 2 of the Civil Code, “A person who has reached twenty years of age shall be an adult” (Civil Code). This means that once a person reaches this age, they are legally considered an adult and can begin to exercise certain rights and responsibilities that come with being an adult. These include voting in elections, getting married without parental consent, owning property, taking out loans, and more.
3. Age 20 as the Age of Adulthood in Japan
The reason why 20 is considered to be the age of adulthood in Japan is due to its historical roots. In 1876, during the Meiji period (1868-1912), a new civil code was established which set 18 as the legal age for men and 15 as the legal age for women (Kokumin Seikatsu). However, after World War II when a new constitution was adopted in 1947 it set 20 as the universal legal age for both men and women (Kokumin Seikatsu). This has been maintained ever since then and remains unchanged today.
4. The History Behind Age 20 in Japan
The reason why 20 was chosen as the legal age for adulthood goes back to ancient times when it was believed that a person’s physical development had reached its peak by this time (Kokumin Seikatsu). In addition to this belief was also a cultural one which held that people should reach maturity before entering into important life decisions such as marriage or taking out loans (Kokumin Seikatsu). Thus, it was decided that setting 20 as the legal age would ensure that people had enough time to mature before making such decisions.
5. How Does Age 20 Affect Japanese Society?
In modern day Japanese society, having an official legal definition for adulthood has had both positive and negative effects on society at large. On one hand it has allowed young adults more freedom when making important life decisions such as getting married or taking out loans without their parents’ consent while on other hand it has put more pressure on young adults who may not feel completely ready or prepared for these types of decisions yet (Kokumin Seikatsu).
6. Other Countries and Their Ages of Adulthood
While most countries have some form of legally defined ages for adulthood they all vary slightly from each other depending on their own cultural beliefs and values (World Atlas). For example, in China 18 is considered to be the legal age while in South Korea 19 is considered to be the legal age (World Atlas). However there are some countries such as Egypt where 21 is considered to be their official legal age for adulthood (World Atlas).
To conclude, while there are many varied opinions about what constitutes true “adulthood” around different parts of world; within Japan itself there seems to be a consensus that 20 years old marks an individual’s transition into full-fledged “adulthood” according to both historical roots and current laws/regulations governing various aspects related with personal autonomy/responsibility within society itself.
Civil Code: https://www3.lawlinks.jp/lib/keiji/en/civil_code_en_02_01_01_00010_00010_00010_00020_00020_00020_00030_00030_00040#n00000001
Kokumin Seikatsu: https://www3.lawlinksjp/lib/keiji/en/kokusei_seikatsu-ho#n00000017
World Atlas: https://wwwworldatlascom/articles/what-is-the-legal-age-of-adulthood-around-the-worldhtml
Why is 20 the age of adulthood in Japan?
A proclamation in 1876 stated that puberty in Japan began at age 20. It remained so for 145 years until recently when the government raised the age of majority to 18 on 1 April 2022. It replaced nearly two million Japanese people between the ages of 18 and 19 who became adults that day. 13 December 2022
Is 20 a minor in Japan?
The Japanese Penal Code states that acts committed by persons under the age of 14 are not punishable. However under Japanese juvenile law a minor (shonen) refers to anyone under the age of one year.
Is 20 the age of consent in Japan?
In Japan a person must be 20 years old to be considered an adult and parental consent plays an important role in legal matters affecting youth. In terms of adulthood this means that it is illegal to marry a person without the written permission of your parents.
Can a 20 year old drink in Japan?
The legal adult age in Japan is 20 years old. Japanese law prohibits drinking and smoking by minors.
What is Japan’s age consent?
13 years old
The age of consent in Japan is 13. The Japanese Penal Code stipulates that the age of consent, i.e. the legal age at which an individual is considered to have the ability to agree to sexual activities is 13 years old as of 2022. Most countries set the age of consent at 14 to 16.Nov 11, 2022
What is the consent age in Tokyo?
Japan currently has the lowest age of consent at 13 among developed and G7 countries. A Japanese Ministry of Justice panel proposed raising the national age of consent from 13 to 16. February 22 2023