Speed Reads


Adults in Japan just got younger

The real world is about to arrive a bit sooner for Japan's teenagers.

Japan has lowered its age of adulthood from 20 to 18, per a new law passed by the country's legislature Wednesday. The law won't take effect until 2020, the Japan Times reported.

There's a bit more equality in the new law, as males 18 and up and females 16 and up used to be able to marry, but needed parental consent until they were 20. Under the new law, anyone 18 and older can get married on their own, per BBC. People can also apply to change their gender and take out a loan when they turn 18.

The rule change has Japanese teenagers confused, however. Their traditional coming-of-age ceremony usually happens in January of the year they turn 20, but 18-year-olds are taking intense entrance exams around that time, says BBC. The legal age for drinking, gambling, and smoking is still stuck at 20 as well, though a 2015 law did lower Japan's voting age from 20 to 18.

To any impending 18-year-olds excited for the change: You'll rethink that when you're here.