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South Korea's parliament passes bill that could make citizens a year younger

President of South Korea's Yoon Suk-yeol supported a change to the country's age-counting system. South Korea's parliament passed a bill on Thursday which will require the use of the international-age counting system. Photo by President of South Korea Press Office / UPI
President of South Korea's Yoon Suk-yeol supported a change to the country's age-counting system. South Korea's parliament passed a bill on Thursday which will require the use of the international-age counting system. Photo by President of South Korea Press Office / UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- South Koreans will soon become a year or two younger, following an official change to the country's age-counting system.

The country's parliament passed a set of bills requiring the use of the international age counting system, which is based on birth date.

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The bills represent a change for a country that currently uses three age-counting systems. Most citizens follow the "Korean age," where a person is 1 year old as soon as they are born, and gain one year every New Year's day.

Anyone born in June or later will have to go by the international age counting system.

More than 80% of South Koreans supported unifying the age-counting system, according to a September poll by the Ministry of Government Legislation.

Critics have raised concerns that the different systems may cause confusion in providing welfare, medical and administrative services and incur unnecessary social costs.

President Yoon Suk-yeol pledged to unify the age system as one of his campaign promises.

Some East Asian countries still use the traditional age-counting system.

In China, which uses the nominal age-counting system, a person is considered 1 year old on the day they are born, and they gain a year on the Lunar New Year.

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