Japan's young adults get a lesson in how to be savvy consumers

Japan Times -- Apr 28
Consumer education is getting underway at high schools across Japan ahead of the lowering of the age of legal adulthood by two years to 18 on April 1, 2022.

The legal amendment will enable even high school students to sign contracts to purchase expensive goods and services without parental consent. With 18- and 19-year-olds set to lose the right of minors to rescind contracts they conclude without parental consent, however, concerns are increasing about a growing risk of consumer-related problems.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, therefore, is calling on education boards across the country to promote educational programs at high schools to help new adults avoid consumer problems.

“Let’s suppose a situation in which you buy a health food product online once but later receive another delivery, so you quickly get in touch with the supplier and find you have overlooked that the contract involves a regular purchase order,” Mikio Miyazaki, a teacher of civics education, said during a class for first-year students at Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School in Meguro Ward in October last year. “Do you think you can rescind the contract?”

Students had a variety of answers, such as “It’s your own fault because you checked ‘agreed'” or “The supplier is at fault because the contract is written in an unclear way. An online contract can be canceled any time.”

- Japan Times