Japan Lowers Legal Adult Age to 18, 1st Change since 1876


Tokyo, April 1 (Jiji Press)--The legal age of adulthood in Japan was lowered to 18 from 20 on Friday, marking the first change in the adult age since it was set at 20 in 1876.

The revised Civil Code, stipulating the new adult age, came to force on the day. It also raised the minimum age for marriage for women to 18, equal to that for men, from 16.

The revised juvenile law, which regards people aged 18 and 19 as specified juveniles and allows stricter penalties to be taken against crimes committed by such people, also became effective on Friday.

"Encouraging young people's active involvement in society is of great significance as it will bring great energy to society," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a press conference on Thursday.

In Japan, people aged 18 and 19 are now legally out of parental custody and can sign credit card, mobile phone, housing rental and other contracts by themselves. They are also allowed to obtain 10-year passports and get qualified as doctors, certified accountants, judicial scriveners and other professionals.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press