Toxic terror

Intoxication poses a danger to road users, so it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol in many countries. For the same reason, the public is always reminded to drink alcohol moderately or quit drinking.

In Japan, though, the National Tax Agency is campaigning for young people to drink more alcohol. The recently launched “Saka Viva!” campaign also encourages people aged 20 to 39 to come up with ideas on how to boost alcohol consumption among young consumers.

“Contestants have until the end of September to put forward their ideas. The successful plans will then be developed with help from experts before the final proposals are presented in November,” NBC News reported, citing statements from the agency.

The NTA suffered huge losses in collecting tax from liquor sellers last year. The number of buyers or drinkers dropped as the Covid-19 pandemic curtailed socializing. Lost tax collection from alcohol sales was more than a trillion yen compared to 110 billion yen in 2020.

The Japanese public, however, was not supportive of “Saka Viva!” as it can increase infections to the coronavirus aside from promoting an unhealthy habit.

A recent incident bolsters opposition to the drinking drive. A drunken passenger sparked panic after dropping something inside a train last 26 August.

“A startled passenger pressed the emergency call button, bringing the train to a screeching halt” and Tokyo police rushed to the coach to accost the man in a state of stupor, Asahi Shimbun reported.

The train service was disrupted for 40 minutes and resumed running after the drunken passenger did not resist police and calmly went with them to the precinct.

It was later learned that a passenger panicked because the drunken sushi chef dropped one of his knives just weeks after 10 commuters were killed in a stabbing rampage inside a train.

According to officers at the Kamata Police Station, the chef was carrying his sushi knives because he had just left his job to work in another restaurant.


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