Tokyo government plays matchmaker with new dating app to reverse falling birth rate

The birth rate in Japan is so low that the government of its largest city is taking desperate measures to help couples find love.

The Tokyo metropolitan government’s latest innovative idea is to play Cupid by launching a dating app, and it has already allocated $1.28 million to launch it at the end of summer, according to a Japanese newspaper. The Asahi Shimbun reported. Unlike other dating services, the government-sponsored project has strict measures in place to address a serious concern of people looking for love online: authenticity.

More than half of dating app users said they had experienced someone misrepresenting their relationship status or other parts of their profile, according to a 2021 study by Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., the outlet reported. In the United States, the Pew Research Center found that 63% of men under 50 said they had encountered a scammer on a dating app, while 44% of women across all age groups said the same. same.

To avoid those obstacles, the new government-sponsored app will force users to meet exhaustive, even possibly onerous, requirements before signing up. To begin swiping right, users will need to verify their income, present a government document to prove they are single, and appear for an interview with the company that runs the app. All information will be available for potential matches. The new platform isn’t for casual daters either; Users will have to sign a declaration declaring that they are looking for a partner to marry.

While it may not scream romance, Tokyo officials say the extensive prerequisites are necessary to avoid some of the problems users have faced with fake profiles on other apps.

“We hope that this app, with its partnership with the government, will provide a sense of security and encourage those who have been hesitant to use traditional apps to take the first step in finding a partner,” a Tokyo official said. The Asahi Shimbun.

There are other dating apps in Japan, including American platforms Tinder and Bumble, but the Tokyo government hopes its strict rules and disclosures can convince people who were hesitant about the apps to try love. Although it may seem far-fetched, dating apps are popular in Japan and often match couples for quick marriage. A 2023 study of just over 1,000 people by Japan’s largest life insurance company found that a quarter of respondents who got married within a year met their spouse through a dating app. quotes.

Japan’s birth rate fell to a record low of 1.20 in 2023, according to figures released Wednesday by Japan’s Health Ministry. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a birth rate of 2.1 per woman is required to maintain a broadly stable population. In Tokyo, the birth rate was even worse, falling to 0.99 for the first time on Wednesday. The 86,347 children born in Tokyo in 2023 marked the lowest number of births since the end of World War II, according to The Asahi Shimbun.

Needless to say, the Tokyo government is willing to try anything to win back love.

“If there are many people interested in getting married but cannot find a partner; “We want to provide support,” the Tokyo official said. The Asahi Shimbun.

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