Tokyo City Hall is developing a dating app to encourage marriage and childbirth

Tokyo City Hall is developing a dating app to encourage marriage and childbirth

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TOKYO (AP) — Called “Tokyo Futari Story,” the city hall’s new initiative is just that: An effort to create couples, “futari,” in a country where it is increasingly common to be “hitori,” or alone.

While a site offering counsel and general information for potential lovebirds is online, a dating app is also in development. City hall hopes to offer it later this year, accessible through phone or web, a city official said Thursday.

Details were still undecided. City Hall declined to comment on Japanese media reports that said the app will require a confirmation of identity, such as a driver’s license, your tax records to prove income and a signed form that says you are ready to get married.

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Marriage is on the decline in Japan as the country’s birth rate fell to an all-time low, according to health ministry data Wednesday. Last year there were 474,717 marriages, down from 504,930 in 2022 while births totaled 727,277, down from 770,759.

The reports also said the app may ask for your height, job and education but the official denied anything was decided.

On the national level, the government has been trying to solve a serious labor shortage by promising cash payments for families with children and supporting child-care facilities. It’s also relaxed immigration policy over the years to encourage an influx of foreign workers.

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

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There are concerns that Japanese workplace norms tend to lead to extremely long hours and rarely meeting people outside work. Some say raising children is expensive.

Tokyo City Hall is also sponsoring events where singles can meet, couples can get counseling on marriage and where lovers can have their stories of how they first met turned into manga comics or songs.

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Yuri Kageyama is on X: https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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