At the moment, in Japan the age of majority is still 20 years of age…although the Legislative Council is still studying the issue and is currently undecided on whether to lower that age bar to 18 years.
See the news report below
Subpanel undecided on adulthood at 18
A Legislative Council subpanel which advises the Justice minister failed to conclude that the legal age of majority to 18 years old should be lowered from the current 20 . The lack of decision on the matter was due to the subpanel members’ views that the current social climate was not right for lowering the age of majority. The subpanel has been studying whether the age of majority as stipulated by the Civil Code should be lowered, ahead of the implementation in 2010 of the National Referendum Law that will allow citizens aged 18 or older to vote in referendums on the Constitution.
The subpanel’s interim report has so far only listed for and against arguments on the idea of lowering the age of legal adulthood. The subpanel has until 2009 to come up with a final report, after it has had the chance to scrutinize public submissions that are being received until the end of January.
Arguments for the lowering the legal adulthood age: The young people’s participation in society and their self-reliance should be promoted.
Against: Consumer affairs-related problems involving young people, such as those involving credit cards and consumer loan firms, could increase.
On the timing of lowering the age of adulthood, subpanel members expressed two opposed opinions:
–The Civil Code should be revised at first with a grace period of between two to 10 years, during which measures for protecting young adult consumers would be put in place.
–The Civil Code should not be revised until appropriate measures for protecting young adult consumers have been put in place.
The report also outlines three separate ages at which the age of adulthood could be lowered: 18 years old; a set day in March just after turning 18; and 19 years old.
(Dec. 17, 2008)