Japan's Diet has approved amendments to the Civil Code that will lower the age of adulthood from the current 20 years to 18.
The new legislation will become effective on April 1st, 2022.
The bill cleared the Upper House on Wednesday, with support from the Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito, Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party, and others.
The new legislation will also lift the legal age for marriage for women from 16 to 18, equal to that of men.
Some related laws were also amended to allow people to sign credit card contracts and loans without parental consent if they are 18.
The legal age for drinking, smoking and public gambling, such as betting on horse races, will remain at 20.
The lowering of the age of adulthood has raised concerns that young people could be exploited by unscrupulous businesses.
To address these concerns, lawmakers agreed on a supplementary resolution that calls for drawing up, within 2 years, legislation designed to prevent such consumer exploitation.