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What is the lowest legal age in Japan?


Japan is a country with a unique culture that sets it apart from the rest of the world. One of the things that make it unique is its laws, including the age requirements for various activities. In this article, we will delve into the lowest legal age in Japan and what it entails.

The Age of Consent

In Japan, the age of consent is 13 years old. This means that a person who is 13 or older can legally engage in sexual activity with someone else who is also 13 or older.

Japanese Snack Box

Drinking Age

The legal drinking age in Japan is 20 years old. This means that anyone under the age of 20 is not allowed to purchase or consume alcohol.

Smoking Age

The minimum age for smoking in Japan is also 20 years old. Anyone under this age is not permitted to purchase or smoke cigarettes.

Driving Age

The legal driving age in Japan is 18 years old. A person must be at least 18 years old to apply for a driver’s license.

Voting Age

In Japan, the voting age is 18 years old. This means that anyone who is 18 or older can vote in national elections.

Military Service

Japan has a conscription system, but only males are required to serve. The minimum age for military service is 18 years old.

Age of Majority

The age of majority in Japan is 20 years old. This means that a person becomes an adult at 20 and can vote, smoke, drink, and do other things that are restricted to adults.

Education Age

In Japan, education is compulsory from ages 6 to 15. After finishing compulsory education, students can choose to continue their studies or enter the workforce.

Working Age

The minimum working age in Japan is 15 years old. However, there are restrictions on the type of work that minors can do.

Age Discrimination

Discrimination based on age is illegal in Japan. Employers cannot discriminate against employees or job applicants based on their age.

Punishment for Breaking Age Laws

Breaking any of these laws can result in punishment ranging from fines to imprisonment. The severity of punishment depends on the offense and the age of the offender.


In conclusion, Japan has strict laws regarding age restrictions for various activities. Understanding these laws and following them is important for both Japanese citizens and foreigners visiting the country.

Is 14 years old legal in Japan?

Japan’s Penal Code was established in 1907 and includes a provision that sets the age of consent at 13 years old. Sexual activity with a person under the age of 13 is considered statutory rape and can lead to imprisonment for up to 20 years.

How old is a minor in Japan?

In Japan, adulthood was previously considered to begin at the age of 20 according to a proclamation made in 1876. However, as of April 1, 2022, the Civil Code has been amended to lower the age of adulthood to 18.

Why is the age of consent 14 in Germany?

The age of consent laws in Germany were established after a penal law reform in 1994 following the reunification. The ages of 14 and 16 have been significant since the Criminal Code for the German Empire was implemented in 1872. Any sexual action with children below the age of 14 was prohibited and has been since then according to section 176.

What age can a girl get married in Japan?

In Japan, marriage is legal for boys at the age of 18 and for girls at the age of 16, as per the Civil Code. However, those who are under 20 years of age cannot marry without parental consent. Starting in 2022, the minimum legal age for both boys and girls to get married will be 18 years.

Is age of consent 13 in Japan?

Currently, Japan has the lowest age of consent among developed countries, allowing 13-year-old children to legally consent to sexual activity, which means that such activity is not classified as statutory rape. This information was accurate as of February 22, 2023.

Does Japan have a child limit?

A two-child policy is a government-imposed limit of two children allowed per family or the payment of government subsidies only to the first two children.

It’s worth noting that Japan’s age laws have been subject to criticism and debate over the years. Some argue that the age of consent, set at 13 years old, is too low and leaves young people vulnerable to exploitation. Others have called for a higher legal age for smoking and drinking, citing health concerns and the negative impact on society.

Additionally, there have been calls to increase the age of majority from 20 to 18, bringing it in line with other countries. Advocates argue that this would give young people more autonomy and responsibility, while also reducing the number of legal inconsistencies between the ages of 18 and 20.

Despite these debates, Japan’s age laws remain firmly in place. Foreigners visiting Japan should be aware of these laws and respect them accordingly. Any violation of these laws can result in severe consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and deportation for non-citizens. By following Japan’s age laws, visitors can ensure a safe and enjoyable stay in this unique and fascinating country.

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