Under an amendment to civil law, the age at which one is legally recognized as an adult was amended from 20 to 18 years old.
If you or a family member are 18 or 19, it's a good idea to check what 18- and 19-year-olds can and can't do as of 1 April 2022.
Things you can do from your 18th birthday
- Make a contract to rent an apartment
- Purchase a smartphone
- Have a credit card issued (*You may not be issued a credit card after an assessment of your ability to repay.)
- Take out a loan to make a purchase (*You may not be able to take out a loan if the repayments are assessed as exceeding your ability to repay.)
- Obtain a 10-year passport (if you have Japanese nationality)
Things you still can't do until you turn 20
- Drink alcoholic beverages, smoke
- Participate in government-controlled gambling (horse racing, cycle racing, boat racing, motorcycle racing)
At 18 and 19 you are now able to make various kinds of contracts on your own, without the consent of a parent or guardian. However, as you are no longer a minor, you are no longer able to rescind a contract made as a minor (a contract made by a minor without prior consent from a guardian). It is up to you to decide whether to make a contract, and to bear responsibility for upholding the contract. It is therefore important to make sure you acquire knowledge to avoid being taken advantage of as a consumer.
In immigration-related matters, too, "minor" now refers to a person under the age of 18. For example, those over the age of 18 are no longer permitted to change their status of residence to "Long-Term Resident" (teijūsha / 定住者) as a minor / unmarried biological child. If you are 18 or 19 and need to find out how the change affects your status / period of residence renewal, please consult the Immigration Information Center on 0570-013904.