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Upper house panel passes bill to lower age of majority

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — A committee of the House of Councillors passed on Tuesday a bill to lower the country’s adult age to 18 from the current 20.

At the Judicial Affairs Committee, the bill to amend the Civil Code was approved by a majority vote with support from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito.

The bill, which cleared the House of Representatives, in late May, is expected to be enacted at a plenary meeting of the upper house on Wednesday.

The government aims to have the revised Civil Code enforced in April 2022.

The adult age will be changed for the first time since it was set at 20 in 1876.

After the revision, people aged 18 and 19 will be allowed to have credit cards without consent from their parents.

Meanwhile, the legal age for marriage for women will be lifted from the current 16 to 18 to equal that of men.

The legal age for drinking, smoking and betting in publicly managed gambling will be kept at 20.

Due to concerns that consumer problems may increase as a result of the adult age lowering, the upper house committee unanimously adopted a supplementary resolution urging the government to take sufficient measures to prevent such an increase.

In a related move, the government has submitted to parliament a bill to revise the consumer contracts law in order to allow unjust contracts to be canceled. The bill was enacted on Friday.Speech

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