Japanese College Students' Attitudes Toward Alcohol Consumption: A Survey-Based Study with Implication for Gateway Drug Education
This paper is based on an opinion survey designed to examine the attitudes of Japanese college students toward drinking. The author started surveying Japanese college students about alcohol consumption in 2002 in Kyoto and Osaka. The present survey used the responses of 101 undergraduate students in the course, “Drinking and its Social Problems” at Hokkaido University during the academic year 2007-2008. Hokkaido University is a national university in Japan; it is commonly known as Hokudai. Drinking is a part of Japanese college life, and many young people start drinking in their late teens, despite the fact that alcohol cannot be legally consumed before the age of twenty. Unfortunately there are frequent incidents of alcohol abuse among students. For example, in May 2007, nine members of a Hokudai students’ group were hospitalized because of acute alcohol poisoning at a cherry blossom party. Recently, drug education programs have been initiated in Japan. However, they have been primarily directed toward showing the dangers of illegal narcotics. In other words, youth are not given practical information about alcohol as a gateway drug. The purpose of this paper is to give, through this survey at Hokkaido University, actual data regarding alcohol consumption among Japanese college students, and gather information and advice from the audience which can be used to refine future drug education programs in Japan.
Keywords: Gateway Drug, Alcohol Education, Self Help Group, Problem Drinking, Moderate Drinking
Dr. Mutsuko Masaki
Associate Professor, Research Faculty of Media and Communication