You can still buy beer in vending machines on the street in some places in Japan, but miraculously the kids don’t take advantage. Imagine if such an easy, no-ID-required method of obtaining beer were available in the West- there would be belligerent, shitfaced youths slumped in every street corner, in pools of puke and piss, shouting inanities, rising occasionally to kick in the machines for another beer-buzz. When I asked some Japanese teens why they don’t do this they replied “Oh, that’s because we can’t. It’s against the rules.” Simple as that.
Japanese teens, god bless them, don’t get up to anything worse than giggling in public, (and that’s only the real hardcore rebels.)
Elderly Japanese folks are often whingeing about the state of young people these days, cataloguing gripes about their appalling conduct. Chief among the adolescents’ heinous offences seem to be “sitting on the ground in train stations” (gasp!), “speaking loudly on the telephone,” or…wait for it… “applying their make-up on the train”. Heaven forbid!
Well, if that`s the worst of it, the old wrinklies should count themselves lucky. Compared to the sociopathic, pizza-faced delinquents we have to endure in the rest of the world, Japanese teenagers are sweethearts.