Valentine’s Day, as you’re undoubtedly aware thanks to the abundance of heart-shaped goods that have suddenly appeared on shop shelves, is almost upon us. But before you break out that chocolate-making kit or ass-shaped pastry for your special someone, take a look at this downer of a statistic: Seventy percent of Japanese 20-somethings recently surveyed think that money is more important than love.
Maybe you should add your bank statement to your Valentine’s Day card? If you’re already wishing Feb 14 had come and gone, read this decidedly un-romantic story.
The survey was conducted by iResearch, who questioned 200 Japanese young adults (100 female, 100 male) aged between 20-29. They didn’t dance around the topic at all, simply asking the big question: “Which is more important, love or money?”
The results were overwhelmingly in favor of money, with 69% of survey-takers preferring the cold, hard cash to soft, warm cuddles. Seriously, where’s the romance, Japan?
Members of both love and cash categories made some pretty good points when asked how they came to their respective conclusions. Let’s start with Team Money:
“The heart has some leeway, but money is indispensable.” (26, Male)
“Without money, you won’t be able to support your affections.” (29, Male)
“If you don’t have enough money, your health could suffer.” (28, Male)
“You can fall out of love, but money doesn’t just disappear.” (27, Female)
“Because I already have love!” (26, Female)
“If you have money, you won’t fall on hard times.” (28, Male)
“You can get plenty of love from the people around you, but there are many times when you would be helpless without money.” (28, Female)
“Love is felt depending on personal feelings. It’s so relative.” (26, Female)
“If you think really logically, even if you don’t have love, you may be lonely, but you’ll keep on living. But if you don’t have money, you’ll lose your livelihood, and very possibly you won’t be able to continue living.” (26, Male)
“Earning more money leads to more possibilities for your life. You can aim higher and challenge yourself more.” (29, Male)
Okay, Team Money has some pretty solid logic going there. How will Team Love counter?
“You can change your monetary circumstances through effort and hard work, but you can’t achieve love with effort alone.” (29, Male)
“For money, there’s always the chance of getting a better job, etc, but with love, if it’s not there, there’s nothing you can do!” (27, Female)
“They’re equally important, but I’d like to satisfy my heart.” (27, Female)
“[I chose love] because I don’t have a boyfriend.” (25, Female)
“I’ve never dated anyone!” (29, Male)
“I’ve never had money problems.” (27, Male)
“It’s okay with me if money were the least important thing.” (27, Female)
Team Love put up a good fight with a few logical responses (and a few that make you think, “kawai-sou“). The answers from both parties stir up interesting secondary questions, “Can love persist through financial hardship?” and “Can two people focused more on money than affection have a stable relationship?” What do you think?
The survey comes at an interesting time for Japan, as word is spreading around the world that many Japanese young people are “sexless” and uninterested in marriage, thus exacerbating the country’s birth-rate problem. Perhaps it all boils down to economics?
Regardless, Valentine’s Day is next week, so if the apple of your eye happens to be a Japanese 20-something, you may want to rethink your plans. Homemade chocolate doesn’t exactly scream “money!” but expensive gifts don’t always say, “I love you.” Choose wisely.
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