At what age do we become adults? In Japan people legally come of age at 20 years old. There are coming of age ceremonies for new adults all over Japan each year.
Now in the U.K as this article explains, former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith has proposed a similar coming of age ceremony for sixteen year olds.
After the tube and bus bombings in London in July 2005, there was a lot of talk about the lack of national identity and cohesion amongst the modern youth of Britain. This proposal is perhaps a predictable institutional reaction to such sentiment, but is it without merit?
Aside from the affirmation of national identity comes the question of legal responsibility. As this editorial explains, the legal age of adulthood in Japan is a current hot topic. Should the legal age be lowered to 18?
There is the possibility of big change in both countries. There is also the proposed introduction of a registration card for foreign residents in The U.K which would mirror the much maligned 'Gaijin Card' system in Japan. Another similarity that I never imagined commenting on.
Lines are being re-drawn, with both countries trying to cope with internal changes.