Japan Encourages Young People To Date And Mate To Reverse Birth Rate Plunge, But It May Be Too Late

The concept of konkatsu was created by sociology professor Yamada Masahiro at Chuo University in Tokyo, and journalist Toko Shirakawa in Konkatsu might strike one as a seemingly merry and light-hearted journey in pursuit of romance but the reality of konkatsu is that it is no easy feat for all parties. People who participate in konkatsu often need to distribute their profiles on a wide array of matchmaking platforms for wider exposure to other singles. The process can be time-consuming and daunting; however, with the mentality that finding one right person will make the effort worthwhile, many people are willing to take on these challenges. Both konkatsu and omiai create opportunities for singles to meet, but konkatsu participants have the freedom to decide to further pursue a certain person or to put a stop to a fledgling relationship. Furthermore, konkatsu is not simply limited to having a meeting with the parents of both sides and already deciding on a proposal through the setup by a professional go-between as in omiai. Konkatsu serves more as a springboard, the first step for potential couples to form connections. Then budding couples are free to engage in a broad range of activities to get to know each other more, from cooking together, going on day trips, playing sports, etc.

The Japanese government is trying to find your perfect match

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TOKYO: Undaunted by cancellations of parties and dating Its total fertility rate — the average number of children born to a woman — has.

Hiroe Takaoka L speaks with matchmaker Michiko Ishida about eligible men in the community in Fukui Prefecture, western Japan in this file photo from March 2, Ishida belongs to a member women’s group in Fukui which makes door-to-door visits to single people’s homes in a bid to marry them off and raise the birth rate of the sleepy prefecture in western Japan. Subsidised by the local government, the matchmakers have helped around. His family might own a house.

Subsidized by the local government, the matchmakers have helped around 50 couples tie the knot in the past year. Since then, an increasing number of women have delayed having babies or opted out of marriage and child-bearing altogether. The phenomenon is not unique to Japan. But the country has lagged behind other nations such as Sweden, the United States and France in finding ways to help parents balance work and family, said Makoto Atoh, a professor at Waseda University in Tokyo.

Long working hours for ambitious career men and women as well as late-night business meetings put a damper on family life. The high prices of child care services is also a disincentive. But that may change as big companies start to dole out more child support and time off for employees with children. Internet conglomerate Softbank Corp. Employees who have a fifth child will receive 5 million yen. Softbank Corp.

Japan’s celibacy issue—What’s the economic cost?

Artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies are starting to play a matchmaking role as they find their ways into people’s lives in Japan. AI devices are being employed to give people a picture of their potential mates along with everything about them — their hobbies, whether or not they smoke, or if they have walked down the aisle before, among other things. Matchmaking agency Zwei’s “intra-body communication” system that uses wristbands and a tablet computer.

Matchmaking agency Zwei held a konkatsu spouse hunting party in June, at which participants wore wristbands. When they shook hands with each other, their profiles appeared on a tablet computer, facilitating conversation.

Tokyo funds matchmaking parties to boost birth rate By Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo, Daily Telegraph, The Japanese government is funding.

Subscriber Account active since. Japan is home to one of the fastest ageing societies in the world, with the population shrinking at a record , in alone, according to government figures. Matchmaking events organized by local authorities, where young singles are introduced to one another in romantic settings, are becoming increasingly common in areas such as rural Kochi, a prefecture around miles west of Tokyo. Officials in Kochi organize coffee and cake events in rural cafes, complete with a romantic soundtrack of live piano music, to try and boost marriage and birth rates.

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Racing with Marriage – A Peculiar Trend of Modern Japan

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need women to manage their money and their domestic lives. Women need there nonetheless exists a growing rate of celibacy in turn raise further questions about the nature of rural so- ciety. vement of other parties in rural marriage. demonstrate in Tokyo. of birth control in postwar Japan – and the subsequent.

Failure to turn around that trend would see the number of workers supporting each senior fall to 1. Supporting marriage is an effective way to raise the birthrate, said Koike, who has served as defense and environment minister. Social security costs are projected to rise to With the budget allocation only set for one year, policymakers at the national and local level are looking for a longer- term approach to boosting the marriage rate.

The number of births fell to 1. The nation may lose a third of its million population by , according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. People marrying later and a lack of nursery school places in urban areas for women who want to pursue careers are among reasons for the sliding birthrate. Japan should aim to boost the fertility rate to two children or above per woman and at least double the number of marriages to turn around its demographic fortunes, according to an LDP panel headed by Koike that promotes konkatsu and machikon — singles parties attended by hundreds of people.

The rate was last above two in , falling to 1. The fertility level compares with 1.

Tokyo Funds Matchmaking Parties To Boost Japan’s Birth Rates

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Officials desperately want more women to work to boost the country’s stagnant economy. But it also wants them to have more babies to reverse a long-running decline in the birth rate , one of the lowest in the world. That’s led to taxpayer-financed dating services in places like Ishioka, a town about an hour outside Tokyo. Related: Women: Japan’s hidden asset. At a recent “konkatsu,” or “marriage-hunting,” event, nearly 80 single men and women buzzed around the room trying to gather as many answers as possible to a list of icebreaker questions like “What is your favorite food?

Then came speed dating in small groups so they could get to know each other better. And whenever anyone got too shy, elderly volunteers from a local “marriage-promotion committee” would step in to guide the conversation along. Nozomi Abiko, 22, who works at a local bank, came to the event after her boss gathered all the single women in the office and suggested they attend the annual dating event.

As it tries to revive its sputtering economy, the Japanese government hopes women like Abiko will pursue their careers at work and also have plenty of children. The world’s third-largest economy is in dire need of more people: Japan’s population shrank by one million to million in the five years through , according to the World Bank.

With 2,887 days in office, Shinzo Abe is Japan’s longest serving PM

Matchmaking parties are pretty common in Japan. Though the percentage of couples who actually get married is decreasing nowadays, the government and other private sectors are helping people in holding marriage events and meeting potential partners. This is no ordinary matchmaking event, as participants will be blindfolded while they get to know each other.

Japan has the highest proportion of elderly citizens of any country in the world. The country is Since Japan’s overall population is shrinking due to low fertility rates, the This means that money and social status are important for men in the dating The city Nagareyama in Chiba Prefecture is 30 kilometers from Tokyo.

TOKYO: Undaunted by cancellations of parties and dating opportunities due to the new coronavirus pandemic, many singles in Japan looking for a marriage partner have found a silver lining in virtual gatherings. In contrast, just 10 to 20 people joined when the matchmaking agency launched its one-on-one online marriage meeting service in January, before Japan saw a major outbreak of the virus. The company has been organizing online matchmaking parties every day since April 1 and recently has held them at least twice a day.

The parties are organized based on where participants live and their age groups. Men pay a monthly membership fee of 3, yen, while women can join free of charge. Matchmaking services have been flourishing in Japan, a rapidly aging country with a declining population. Its total fertility rate — the average number of children born to a woman — has hovered around 1.

A year-old female contract worker in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo said the coronavirus epidemic and the insecurity she feels as a result has made her keener than ever to find a partner. The woman had joined several face-to-face matchmaking parties a month, but all the events were canceled in April. One man she wanted to take things further with told her they cannot meet until the epidemic is over.

Population Decline

At present trends, by there will be only 1. By , social security costs are expected to climb to Since the money earmarked for the birth rate program will last only one year, local officials want a longer-term commitment by the government to get a handle on demographic trends that have been building for decades. The challenge for Japan may be insurmountable. As in the Western countries, Japanese people are marrying later in their lives if at all and younger women are putting off marriage and children in pursuit of their careers.

The economic malaise that has gripped Japan over the past 25 years has also played a serious role in dissuading marriage and child-rearing.

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Over coffee and cake in a rural cafe in Kochi Prefecture, Hideyuki Tanaka, 40, plucked up the courage to speak with Eri, 14 years his junior. For the first time, the central government is giving financial aid to local matchmaking programs as part of steps to lift a birthrate that is half of what it was six decades ago. Failure to turn around that trend would see the number of workers supporting each senior fall from 2.

Supporting marriage is an effective way to raise the birthrate, said Koike, who has served as defense and environment minister. Social security costs are projected to rise to With the budget allocation only set for one year, policymakers at the national and local level are looking for a longer-term approach to boosting the marriage rate. The number of births fell to 1.

The nation may lose a third of its million population by , according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. People marrying later and a lack of nursery schools in urban areas for women who want to pursue careers are among reasons for the sliding birthrate. The birthrate last topped two in , falling to 1. The fertility level compares with 1. Only about 2 percent of children are born out of wedlock in Japan, according to a welfare ministry report.

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Japan has the highest proportion of elderly citizens of any country in the world. Japan had a post-war baby boom between and In , Japan legalized abortion under special circumstances. The Eugenic Protection Law of allowed the involuntary sterilization of babies with intellectual disabilities until the law was overturned in

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At a Shinto shrine in Tokyo, a thirty-something Japanese man blushes bright red after matching with a more-stoic woman at a marriage-hunting party. Hours away by train, staff at a Kyoto nursing home describe the exchange of folk songs between tenants and a part-time Vietnamese caregiver. They share a connection to a problem causing major anxiety in Japan — the rapid, seemingly irreversible decline of its population — and to its possible solutions: more babies, or more immigrants.

Within a decade, scholars predict, one third of Japanese people will be 65 or older. By , half will be single. The current population of million will dip below million before The trend can be mitigated though not fully reversed. The birth rate of 1. To address a growing labour shortage, it seeks better work-life balance for women and more employment for seniors. Events range from casual speed-dating to formal receptions.

Reality TV shows abound. Koki Goto, founder of J-konkatsu, has been hosting private parties for almost seven years. There are 80 or 90 events every year, funded by participant fees. After two hours of eating, drinking and talking, participants wrote the names of their biggest crushes onto note cards, organizers sorted through these and five couples were announced, by microphone, in front of the whole room.

“Why Is Japan’s Birth Rate So Low?”