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Japan to introduce dating app to boost marriage and birth rates

The Japanese Government is taking peculiar measures to boost the dwindling national birth rate. It is set to launch a ‘dating app’ called ‘Tokyo Futari Story’ this summer, the Japan Times reported.

Amid growing labour shortages, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government is actively pursuing policies to promote the birth rate, including provision of financial aid to families, easier access to child care, parental leave, and more.

In Japan, birth rates dropped to an all-time low in 2023. Therefore, it isn’t uncommon for municipalities to hold matchmaking events, but it is quite rare for the government to create an app.

Also read: Japan consumer spending rises in April for first time in 14 months

How to enrol on dating app?

To access the dating app, users must sign a letter stating they are willing to get married and submit documentation proving that they are legally single.

Other requirements include a tax certificate slip to prove their annual salary. A Tokyo government official in charge of the new app said, “We learned that 70% of people who want to get married aren’t actively joining events or apps to look for a partner,” reported Japan Times. He added, “We want to give them a gentle push to find one.”

Also read: Japan’s service activity extends gains on solid demand, PMI shows

Since late 2023, the Tokyo government app has been on a test run for free. Netizens on social media were strong to react to this dating app with scepticism.

Japan Times quoted one user as saying, “Is this something the government should be doing with our tax?” Another user expressed interest, citing safety over fraud. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk stated, “I’m glad the government of Japan recognises the importance of this matter. If radical action isn’t taken, Japan (and many other countries) will disappear!”

Also read: US Fed bets reprice: China, Japan, South Korea and India look attractive as value investments in Asia rise

Birth rate vs death rate

The death rate in the earthquake-prone country is much higher than the birth rate as the number of dependents is significantly large. Japan registered more than double the number of deaths as compared to births last year. For the eighth consecutive year, preliminary government data suggested that births were down to 7,58,631, registering a drop of 5.1%. Meanwhile, the number of deaths registered in 2023 stood at 1,590,503, which is 209.7% higher than birth rates.

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