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In Tokyo, the city hall is offering a dating app to combat falling birth rates

Tokyo residents in Japan will soon be able to register on a new interface created by the government to combat demographic collapse.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will launch its own dating app this summer. The purpose: stop the decline in the number of births in the country. In order to register, users must first provide documentation that proves they are legally single. They then have to sign a letter confirming that they are looking for a partner and want to get married. Finally, they will also need a tax notice to declare their annual income. In Japan, dating apps often require users to disclose their salaries.

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“A Little Helping Hand”

Many industrialized countries have low birth rates, but the problem is particularly acute in Japan, which has the world’s second-oldest population after Monaco and is experiencing a growing labor shortage due to heavy “immigration”. According to figures released by Japan’s Ministry of Health on May 5, the national birth rate in 2023 will reach its lowest level since 1947, averaging 1.2 children per woman.

According to the official of the ministry, “it is a critical situation”. In a conversation with AFP, the politician talked about the reasons for this decline in birth rate. “Various factors such as economic instability and difficulties with work and family life may explain these ever-decreasing numbers,” he said. In January 2023, journalist Karin Nishimura-Puppe explained in a column: Madame Figaro, that this change is due to “the economic context and labor market not really encouraging people to have children”. But also to “inadequate child care”.

The Tokyo government official responsible for the new dating app relied on another factor to explain this idea from the city hall. “We learned that 70% of those who want to get married do not participate in events (about marriage meetings, editor’s note) or partner search apps,” he said. Before adding: “We want to give them a little help with this new tool that’s currently in testing.” In Japan, it is not uncommon for municipalities to organize marriage dating events. However, launching one’s own online applications in this area remains a novelty.

For the eighth year in a row

The Tokyo project has given rise to many negative comments on Japanese social networks. “Should the government do this with our taxes?” asked one netizen. Others, however, say they are interested in this initiative and declare that they would feel “safer” with such an official application. Japan’s declining marriage rate is actually a major factor in the country’s declining birthrate, where births outside of legal unions remain extremely low at around 2%, the OECD report, published in early 2024, said.

In 2023, for the eighth year in a row, the birth rate in Japan has decreased. Serious decline (-5.1% in one year). Moreover, the number of deaths in the archipelago was twice as high as the number of births. The accelerated aging of the national population therefore poses increasingly significant problems. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida therefore promised a more generous family policy. But so far, all Japanese governments have failed to reverse the trend.

Source: Le Figaro

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