Govt-run Dating Apps in Japan as Birth-rate hits record Low: A Good Idea?

Difficulty in finding love? Government is here to find your perfect match! Government? Yes .Japan's Tokyo is launching ‘Government-run’ dating Apps this summer!

As the Japanese birth-rate record hit a new low, Japan’s Tokyo government has come up with an ‘interesting’ initiative to try to undo this, in fear of ‘vanishing’ Japanese people on this earth. 

It is done to push people towards finding love, marrying and starting a new happy family. No one would have thought that now finding love that obviously lies in the ‘Private Sphere’ will also be backed by government

Details about Government’s Dating Apps?

“Please use it as ‘the first step’ to begin marriage hunting,” the app’s website says.

dating app

The App uses an AI-driven matchmaking system that introduces users to potential partners based on a "values diagnostic test,” to determine compatibility by analysing both the user's values and the qualities they seek in a partner. It is like the core feature!

The momentum of marriage is what this app aims to provide to users! The dating app's website says, “Marriage is a decision based on one’s own values, but the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is working to build momentum for marriage so that those who think they ‘intend to get married eventually’ can take that first step.”

It is not like any other app, it ensures the user’s authentication.

  • It requires users to undergo an interview for identity verification and to submit documentation proving their single status. 
  • Users must sign a letter expressing their willingness to get married and provide a tax certificate slip to confirm their annual salary. 
  • Users must be single, over 18 years old “with a desire to get married,” and be living or working in Tokyo

It is still not launched but currently in its test phase. Japanese people have to wait till summer to try it out.

"We learned that 70 percent of people who want to get married aren't actively joining events or apps to look for a partner," a Tokyo government official involved with the app development told AFP. "We want to give them a gentle push to find one."

japan population decline

Other Initiatives by the Japanese Government?

  • Expansion of childcare facilities, housing subsidies for parents
  • financial incentives for couples to have children. 
  • Promote work-life balance
  • Encourage men's participation in domestic responsibilities
  • Provide career counselling.

Low Birth Rate in Japan 

What is extremely alarming is that Japan's population declined into a ‘crisis’, with the country recording more than twice as many deaths as births last year, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 

The number of births fell for the eighth consecutive year to 758,631, a 5.1 percent decrease from the previous year. In stark contrast, deaths soared to 1,590,503.

This demographic imbalance is a significant challenge for Japan, a nation of 123.9 million people. The fertility rate, which indicates the average number of children a woman will have in her lifetime, dropped from 1.26 to 1.20. This rate is far below the 2.1 threshold needed to maintain a stable population.

Japan has struggled to meet this fertility benchmark for over five decades, with the rate falling below 2.1 in the aftermath of the 1973 global oil crisis. The economic recession that ensued has had long-lasting effects, and the fertility rate has never recovered.

japan birth rate

The repercussions of this demographic decline are profound. Japan is facing a shrinking population, which raises concerns about labor shortages, economic sustainability, and the welfare system. The country recorded 1.57 million deaths in 2023 alone, highlighting the urgency of the issue.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged to address the crisis through various policy measures. These include financial aid for families, improved access to childcare, and extended parental leave. However, experts warn that these efforts might not be sufficient to reverse the trend quickly.

Marriage rates are also falling, with 30,000 fewer marriages recorded last year, while divorces have increased. This trend further complicates efforts to boost the birth rate. Experts predict that the decline will persist for several decades, driven by the current demographic structure. Even a significant rise in the fertility rate would not immediately halt the population decline due to the disproportionate number of older adults compared to young people.

But is it a Good Idea?

Some showed significant interest, but many social media users expressed scepticism about the plans, with one questioning, "Is this something the government should be doing with our taxes?"

This step seems somewhat exaggerated, as many Experts have cautioned that no apocalyptic scenario is going to happen any time soon, asserting that demographic shifts, while transformative, will not suddenly make Japan vanish, or any claims like no ‘Japanese’ man or woman will be left on this earth, is true. But, If this works, many nations struggling with low population will adopt this in no time.

japan birth rate low

Overall, this initiative shows how the government is committed to bring up new ideas to cope with new challenges everyday. The Japanese government has shown dedication to fostering marital bonds and having babies to increase the nation's birth rate. It is like a reverse cultural shift, from promoting ‘Individual Personal Life’ to more ‘Family-oriented’.

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