Alcohol In Japanese Society. Essay

764 words - 3 pages

Ricky LopezRoberts04/26/2002Alcohol in Japanese SocietyThe teenage boy walks down the street with a few yen in his pockets towards a large,softly glowing vending machine outside of a local grocery store. He's thirsty and pulls the coinsfrom his pockets and slides them within a machine. He leans down pressing a button, selectinghis beverage, and it plops down into the bin. The cold, metal can of Kirin beer is picked up,popped open, and drank from as the boy walks back down the street from where he camefrom. How is it possible that there are no ID checks, security, or control over the beverage?In Japan, it is quite legal for alcohol to be sold to the common public without any kind of lawfulcontrol over it. In fact, in restaurants and bars in Japan, it's legally not required to check IDs.In Japan, whether business or social gatherings it's quite common for alcohol to be themain drink ordered. In fact, many business meetings take place while both parties are inebriatedand rare parties, if any, are without a large supply of Japanese beer, wine, or sake. Why is alcoholsuch an integral part of a modern society? There are a few answers to this question that have beenexplained by social studies and observations. Some people think it is because of the high stressand pressure put on the business world, while others say it is due to the carefree lifestyle of socialgroups and the attitude taken by the law and government towards alcohol in general. Forexample, it's not illegal to be drunk in public as long as you don't make a nuisance of yourself.Concerning health issues, the problems caused by excessive drinking are largely ignored bythe society and are often laughed at. What isn't funny is that there are about 4,000 deaths due todrunk driving in Japan, and almost half of all traffic accidents are alcohol-related (Alcohol in Japan).The history of beer and wine in Japan is fairly short since both were introduced withinthe last hundred years. Yet, the oldest evidence for the production of alcohol in Japan goes asfar back as the Jomon Period (10,000 BC - 300 B.C.). Sake, an alcoholic drink made fromfermenting rice, is the most popular of drinks in Japanese History. A large debate usually begins whenpeople try to categorize sake within any alcoholic standards. Some argue that it's a type of beer...

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