Colourful kimonos at Japan's Coming of Age Day

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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.

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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.

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image copyrightAFP

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

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image copyrightAFP

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.

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

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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.

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image copyrightAFP
image copyrightAFP

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.

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

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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.

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image copyrightAFP

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