In Pictures

Colourful kimonos at Japan's Coming of Age Day

Japan has marked Coming of Age Day, a national holiday in which those who turn 20 take part in ceremonies that officially welcome them into adulthood.

People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright Reuters

On the second Monday of each January, those that have turned 20 in the previous year take part in ceremonies in city halls and public spaces to mark the age of adulthood.

Participants in this year's Coming of Age Day are seen below in Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, an eastern suburb of Tokyo.

People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP
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People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP

As part of the ceremony, women dress up in beautiful and colourful kimonos and men wear traditional Japanese dress or a suit and tie.

People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP
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People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP

The age of adulthood in Japan was set in 1876, but in 2018 the government enacted a bill that will lower the age to 18, to take effect in 2022.

The biggest change will be that Japanese couples will no longer need parental consent to get married.

Currently, males over the age of 18 and females 16 and over can marry - but only with the say-so of their parents.

People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP

Two women wearing kimonos take a selfie, below, at Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo.

People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright Reuters

As part of the lowering of the adulthood age, revisions have been made to more than 20 laws, including on nationality and on certain professional qualifications such as being a chartered accountant.

Students attended a coming-of-age ceremony at Kokugakuin University in Tokyo, below.

People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP
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People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP
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People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP

Members of the governing Liberal Democratic Party say lowering the legal age of adulthood will help revitalise an ageing society with a falling birth-rate.

People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP

In 2015, the government lowered the voting age from 20 to 18.

People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP

After 2022, some laws will remain the same.

Eighteen-year-olds in Japan will still be banned from drinking alcohol, smoking, gambling and adopting children: they will still have to wait until they turn 20.

People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP
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People take part in a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Japan Image copyright AFP

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