June 10, 2017
Tokyo- While many young people in Japan are using the Internet to gather information on things they buy, the number of consultations with consumer affairs bodies about problems relating to social networking services has been surging, an annual government report showed Friday.
The consumer affairs white paper featured consumption activities of young people for the first time, reflecting ongoing discussions to amend the Civil Code to lower the adult age to 18 from the current 20.
According to the report, about 80 percent of respondents in their 20s and 30s use the Internet for gathering information on products and services. In addition, over 50 percent of people in the age groups said they buy goods or services online using their smartphones.
The total number of online shopping-related consultations offered by consumer affairs centers and other bodies across Japan to people in all age groups in 2016 came to 887,000, down by some 50,000 from the preceding year.
In recent years, the number of consultations to people aged 65 or over per unit of population has been increasing.
On the other hand, consultations to people aged 30 or younger have been decreasing, apparently because more and more people are finding solutions through Internet searches, the report said.
But the report warned that problems associated with money-making schemes and sales contracts originating from social networking services are increasing among people in their 20s and younger. Consultations for people in the age brackets in 2016 stood at 4,387, more than twice the level in 2013, it said.
A Civil Code provision allows contracts signed by minors without the consent of their guardians to be canceled.
Still, the government report called for enhancing education for young generations, noting that more and more young people could get involved in consumer problems if the adult age is lowered under the law. (Jiji Press)
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