This is a culture where drinking parties are job requirements. It’s a place where you can market a product that lets you consume more alcohol while getting less drunk. Think about that for a minute: You pay 100 yen for a product that lets you consume more but feel it less. This only makes sense in a culture of competitive, shot-for-shot drinking, where keeping pace with your coworkers and superiors is rule ichiban.
Sixty percent of problem drinkers are salaried businessmen who claim that getting drunk with clients or coworkers is part of their job and a mark of company loyalty. To refuse a drink from the boss is a terrible insult that can damage a career. And although alcohol consumption is now decreasing in most industrialized countries, it has quadrupled in Japan since 1960.
When I tell my friends I am going to get another drink, while already drunk…