Photo: Pakutaso
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Japanese divorce rate drops nearly 10% during coronavirus stay-at-home time

21 Comments
By Scott Wilson, SoraNews24

When requests for people in Japan to stay at home to try and contain the coronavirus first began in earnest back in March and April, many people thought it was just a matter of time before families exploded from the pressure of always being together.

With everyone trapped in the same — typically small — home all day every day, parents working from the living room and kids with no school to go to, it was believed that divorce rates were going to skyrocket.

Many Japanese news sources put out articles citing the inevitable “corona divorce” that would happen, a boom in married couples calling it quits on their relationship after they got sick of not being able to ever get away from each other.

However, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has recently released the divorce statistics from January to June of this year. There were a total of 100,122 divorces during that period, which may sound like a lot, but it’s actually 10,923 fewer than the same period last year. That’s a 9.8-percent reduction, a significant change!

It seems as though there was a “corona divorce” effect, but rather than corona increasing divorces, it’s actually ended up decreasing them.

Japanese netizens proposed a couple ideas as for why this was the case:

“Well if the couple can’t go out, that means more sexy times together at home.”

“I feel like we’re going to have a ‘corona baby boom’ instead.”

“Working at home allows for better communication and more time together, so it makes sense.”

“The ‘corona divorce’ was just another hyped-up lie from the mass media.”

We’ve seen stories before about how being quarantined together made couples fall in love again, so the lowering of divorces seems to fall in line with that. Perhaps it’s more the stress of being apart, rather than together, that drives couples to separate.

However, the representative from the Ministry had a more sobering take on the lower divorce rate: “All of society’s activities are on lockdown at the moment, so there are probably a lot of couples who are waiting for things to calm down before they go through the process of getting divorced.”

That take is certainly less romantic, but likely more realistic. Will there be a divorce boom or a baby boom once everything has cooled off? We’ll find out eventually.

*Source: My Game News Flash via *Kyodo

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Fewer Japanese people got married last year than any time since the end of World War II

-- Survey shows how Japanese couples feel about spending so much time together sheltering in place

-- Japan slowly begins to openly discuss crossdressing men in heterosexual relationships

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
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That's a good story, positive news in these times of a lot of negativeness.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

well, i mean who would want to have the hassle of a divorce in these difficult times. Splitting up assets would ruin them. And staying home means less likely to cheat outside. hehe

Jokes aside, this is positive news at least.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Many Japanese news sources put out articles citing the inevitable “corona divorce” that would happen, a boom in married couples calling it quits on their relationship after they got sick of not being able to ever get away from each other.

I actually thought that it was an occurring phenomenon. Didn't realize that it was just speculation and hype.

We’ve seen stories before about how being quarantined together made couples fall in love again, so the lowering of divorces seems to fall in line with that. Perhaps it’s more the stress of being apart, rather than together, that drives couples to separate.

Exactly. In this day and age, when 2 people get married and one or both of them are working so much that they never see each other, one has to wonder what the point of the marriage is in the first place.

“Well if the couple can’t go out, that means more sexy times together at home.”

“I feel like we’re going to have a ‘corona baby boom’ instead.”

Maybe this is the answer Japan has been looking for with regards to the low birthrate. More measures to help people work from home.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My take on that is the phenomenom of married couples or couples in general, not talking to each other if a problem arises. Ppl rather leave and avoid each other instead of trying to find a solution or at least a compromise.

Whenever a problem or an argument arises I first wait until I calmed down to be able to talk about it neutraly but then I talk with my wife.

If more ppl would do it that way, I think divorce rates would go down even more...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Sure, who want's to go to the city office and get infected.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wasn't there a report a couple months ago suggesting the opposite??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Financial hardship may make divorce seem less appealing for the time being. Also, that woman in the picture looks about 14 years old.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

My money would be on this:

However, the representative from the Ministry had a more sobering take on the lower divorce rate: “All of society’s activities are on lockdown at the moment, so there are probably a lot of couples who are waiting for things to calm down before they go through the process of getting divorced.”

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sequestering and working from home with my wife. Except for the pandemic, the best time of our lives.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I do enjoy telework because I can spend time with the kids.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Aly, a guy I worked with was married for 7 years (it should be 9 now), and he never lived with his wife. She was working in Tokyo, he in Osaka, they met a few times a year, and took usually a one week trip together every year. Happy couple.

Also, at my wife's company, during the covid restrictions they had a few old dude who refused to stay at home and came to work anyways. The reason: can't stay at home all day, wife is there.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The most important thing in the world is family and love.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It seems as though there was a “corona divorce” effect, but rather than corona increasing divorces, it’s actually ended up decreasing them.

Yep...obviously people not wanting to wanna spend hours at a local city hall during a pandemic has nothing to do with this.

Safe bet et there was a decrease in marriages this year too.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And sex

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Anyone know what the murder rate is up by???

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sequestering and working from home with my wife. Except for the pandemic, the best time of our lives.

April and May were amazing. Worked from home for 2 months. LOVED it!

I do enjoy telework because I can spend time with the kids.

Took the words right out of my mouth.

Aly, a guy I worked with was married for 7 years (it should be 9 now), and he never lived with his wife. She was working in Tokyo, he in Osaka, they met a few times a year, and took usually a one week trip together every year. Happy couple.

To each his own...

Also, at my wife's company, during the covid restrictions they had a few old dude who refused to stay at home and came to work anyways. The reason: can't stay at home all day, wife is there.

Sounds like a bad marriage to me.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Perhaps more revealing statistics would be to compare the divorce rate with the birth rate and marriage rate, and compare those with last year's.

This is the best I could find ... https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Society/Births-set-to-drop-10-in-Japan-and-US-in-COVID-baby-bust

At the very least, such data would provide a scientific control that would verify the following:

“All of society’s activities are on lockdown at the moment, so there are probably a lot of couples who are waiting for things to calm down before they go through the process of getting divorced.”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I find that when you are cooped up together, the less both of you speak to each other, the better the relationship gets. This pandemic has made living together akin to a (silent) second honeymoon.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I spent 2 years with my late Japanese wife 24 hours a day and it brought us totally together and taught me care and compassion. Bad outcome in the end but I am a better person. Before or after you enter into a relationship a couple should stay isolated together for a while to see if they can handle a serious longterm relationship despite differences and accept or resolve them. I hope this positive trend continues in Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I like working from home to and I hope it stays this way forever. Thansk to COVID-19 we are on our path to Information Super Highway finally as we can just simply work from home and not have to deal with people at work and extra sleep hours or gaming hours due to no commuting. Sleep in an hour 15 minutes and the boss wont know haha unless you have a meeting scheduled exactly at 9am sharp.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not only that for those of us who are married and have children. We spend more time with our coleagues at the work office than we will ever spend time with your own family in our life time. Enjoy the fact.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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