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What age is minor in Japan?


In Japan, the age of majority is 20 years old, which means that anyone who has not yet reached the age of 20 is considered a minor. However, there are also different age limits for certain activities and responsibilities, such as driving or drinking alcohol. In this article, we will explore the different age limits for minors in Japan and the reasons behind them.

The Age of Consent

The age of consent in Japan is 13 years old, which means that a person who is 13 or older can legally engage in sexual activity with another person who is also 13 or older. However, any sexual activity with a person under the age of 13 is considered statutory rape and is punishable by law.

Japanese Snack Box

Drinking Age

The legal drinking age in Japan is 20 years old. Minors are prohibited from consuming alcohol or purchasing it. There are strict penalties for violating this law, including fines and imprisonment.

Smoking Age

The legal smoking age in Japan is also 20 years old. Minors are not allowed to smoke or purchase tobacco products. There are penalties for violating this law, including fines and community service.

Driving Age

The legal driving age in Japan is 18 years old. Minors under the age of 18 are not allowed to obtain a driver’s license or drive a car. There are penalties for violating this law, including fines and imprisonment.

Voting Age

The voting age in Japan is 18 years old. Only citizens who are 18 or older are allowed to vote in national elections. However, some local elections allow people as young as 16 to vote.

Working Age

The legal working age in Japan is 15 years old. Minors between the ages of 15 and 18 are subject to certain restrictions on their work hours and types of work they can perform. They must also obtain permission from their parents or guardians to work.

Marriage Age

The legal marriage age in Japan is 18 years old. However, minors between the ages of 16 and 18 can get married with the consent of their parents or guardians. If one party is under the age of 16, then special permission from a family court must be obtained.

Criminal Responsibility Age

The criminal responsibility age in Japan is 14 years old. This means that anyone under the age of 14 cannot be held criminally responsible for their actions. However, minors between the ages of 14 and 20 can be charged with a crime and face criminal penalties.

Educational Age

Compulsory education in Japan lasts for nine years, from elementary school to junior high school. After that, education is optional but highly encouraged until the age of 18. Many students continue on to high school and university.

Military Service Age

Japan does not have mandatory military service for its citizens. However, men over the age of 18 are required to register with the government for potential conscription in case of national emergencies.


Overall, Japan has a complex set of laws regarding minors and their rights and responsibilities. The age of majority at 20 years old marks an important milestone in Japanese society, but there are also various other ages that determine what minors can and cannot do legally.

How old is a minor in Japan?

For a long time, the beginning of adulthood in Japan was considered to be at the age of 20, a regulation initially established in 1876. However, as of April 1, 2022, this has changed due to a modification in the Civil Code that lowers the age of adulthood to 18.

Is 16 legal in Japan?

A group within the Japanese Justice Ministry has suggested increasing the age at which a person can legally give consent from 13 to 16 years old. This proposal is part of a larger effort to reform Japan’s laws regarding sex crimes, following public outrage over several cases of acquittals for rape charges in 2019.

Is age of consent 13 in Japan?

Currently, Japan has the lowest age of consent among developed countries. This means that children as young as 13 years old are considered capable of giving consent and engaging in sexual activity with them is not considered statutory rape.

What age can you marry in Japan?

According to the Japanese Civil Code, the minimum age for marriage is 18 for boys and 16 for girls. Individuals under the age of 20 need parental approval to get married in Japan. Starting in 2022, the legal age for marriage for both genders will be 18.

Can a 16 date a 21 in Japan?

The legal age of consent in different prefectures in Japan ranges from 16 to 18 years old. Engaging in any sexual activities with individuals below this age is against the law, except when the parents approve of the romantic relationship. In Tokyo, the minimum age for sexual consent is 18 years old.

Can an 18 date a 15?

To summarize, any sexual activity involving a 15 year-old and an 18 year-old in California is against the law, regardless of whether both parties consent or even if their parents approve, due to the state’s age of consent being 18. This includes any touching of their genital areas.

Age Limits for Entertainment and Leisure Activities

There are also age limits for certain entertainment and leisure activities in Japan. For example, the legal age for gambling is 20 years old, and minors are not allowed to enter or participate in any gambling establishments. Additionally, the age limit for watching R-rated movies is also 18 years old.

Age Limits for Medical Consent

In Japan, minors do not have the legal right to make medical decisions on their own. Parents or guardians must give their consent for any medical procedures or treatments for minors under the age of 20. However, there are some exceptions for emergency situations where immediate medical attention is required.

Age Limits for Adoption

The legal age for adoption in Japan is 20 years old. This means that anyone under the age of 20 cannot adopt a child. Additionally, there are other requirements and regulations that must be met before an adoption can take place, such as background checks and home visits.

Age Limits for Financial Transactions

In Japan, minors under the age of 20 cannot open a bank account or apply for credit cards without the permission of their parents or guardians. Additionally, they are not legally allowed to borrow money or enter into any financial contracts on their own.

Age Limits for Social Media

Many social media platforms have age restrictions to protect minors from inappropriate content and potential online predators. In Japan, the minimum age to create an account on most social media platforms is 13 years old.

Age Limits for Military Enlistment

While military service is not mandatory in Japan, there are age limits for those who wish to enlist voluntarily. The minimum age to join the Self-Defense Forces is 18 years old, and applicants must also meet certain physical and educational requirements.


The various age limits in Japan reflect the country’s values and priorities in different areas of life. While some restrictions may seem strict, they are in place to protect minors and ensure their safety and well-being. It is important to understand these laws and regulations to avoid any legal issues or penalties.

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