The City of Tokyo Aims to Increase Dating, Marriage

03:38 June 10, 2024

The City of Tokyo Aims to Increase Dating, Marriage

The city of Tokyo is launching a campaign to create couples in a country where it is increasingly common for people to be alone.

Called “Tokyo Futari Story,” the plan aims to create couples, called “futari” in the Japanese language.

A website offering advice and general information for possible lovebirds is online. There is also a dating app in development. The Tokyo government hopes to offer it later this year.

The app will be available through phone or the web, a city official said recently.

Details were still undecided. The city government would not comment on Japanese media reports that said the app will require a lot of information. Users reportedly would need to confirm their identity, such as with a driver’s license, provide tax records to prove income and sign a form that says the person is ready to get married.

The reports also said the app might ask for a person’s height, job and education, but the official denied anything had been decided.

Marriage and birth rates

Marriage is on the decline in Japan.

Recent health ministry data shows that the country’s birth rate fell to an all-time low in 2023.

Last year there were 474,717 marriages, down from 504,930 in 2022.

Births totaled 727,277, down from 770,759 from the year before.

On the national level, the government has been trying to solve a serious labor shortage. The government has promised cash payments to families with children and support for child-care providers. It has also eased immigration policy over the years to increase foreign workers.

During the so-called “baby boom” of the 1970s, Japan recorded more than 2 million births a year. Like many young adults around the world today, fewer Japanese are interested in marriage or having children.

There are concerns that Japanese workplace culture leads to extremely long hours. Such hours make it difficult to meet people outside of work. Some say raising children is too costly.

The Tokyo government is also supporting events where single people can meet and couples can get counseling on marriage. In addition, lovers can have stories of how they first met turned into art such as manga comics or even songs.

I’m John Russell.

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