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Japanese officials encourage dating apps to combat declining birth rates

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is launching a dating app to promote marriage and boost Japan's declining birth rate.
  • The app requires rigorous verification, including proof of single status, income verification, and an interview.
  • Japan's birth rate has been declining for eight consecutive years, posing significant challenges for the country's economy and social services.

Japan is facing a demographic crisis, with birth rates plummeting and the population aging rapidly. In response, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is taking an innovative step by launching a dating app aimed at promoting marriage and boosting the national birth rate. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to encourage family formation and address the country's shrinking population.

The new dating app, set to launch this summer, is designed to provide a secure and reliable platform for singles looking to find a partner. Users will be required to submit documentation proving they are legally single and sign a letter stating their willingness to get married. Additionally, a tax certificate slip will be needed to verify annual income, and an interview will be conducted to confirm the user's identity. This rigorous verification process aims to ensure the authenticity and seriousness of the participants.

A Tokyo government official explained the rationale behind the app, stating, "We learned that 70 percent of people who want to get married aren't actively joining events or apps to look for a partner. We want to give them a gentle push to find one." The app will use AI technology to match individuals based on their values, providing a more personalized and effective matchmaking experience.

The declining birth rate in Japan is a significant concern. In 2023, the country recorded more than twice as many deaths as births, with only 758,631 births compared to 1,590,503 deaths. This marks the eighth consecutive year of declining births, and the fertility rate has dropped to 1.2 children per woman. Projections suggest that if current trends continue, Japan's population could shrink from over 125 million to 87 million by 2060, with 40 percent of the population aged 65 or older. This demographic shift poses severe challenges for the economy and social services.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called the drop in birth rates the "gravest crisis our country faces" and has promised policies to support families, including financial aid, easier access to childcare, and more parental leave. The new dating app is part of these efforts to create a more family-friendly environment and encourage young couples to start families.

While some social media users have expressed skepticism about the government's involvement in dating, others have shown interest, citing the app's association with the government as a factor that provides a sense of security. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, also praised Japan's move, stating, "I'm glad the government of Japan recognizes the importance of this matter. If radical action isn't taken, Japan (and many other countries) will disappear!"

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government hopes that the app will provide the necessary support for individuals interested in marriage but hesitant to use traditional dating platforms. By leveraging technology and government backing, the app aims to create a safe and effective way for singles to find compatible partners and ultimately boost the nation's birth rate.

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