Take our user survey and make your voice heard.

Voices
in
Japan

have your say

The number of marriages in Japan last year fell below half a million for the first time in 90 years, according to the health ministry. What do you think are some of the reasons for this?

26 Comments

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
Login to comment

Many men earning less than women, so women won't even consider them as partners; men Increasingly afraid to even approach a women due to being accused of harassment; head bitten off just for even attempting to make contact. women are no longer feminine; the break down of traditional gender roles.

There's less marriage because guys think like this.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

People change over time and you never quite know what is going on in someone else's head. So locking yourself into a relationship that may cost you a lot of time and money to extract yourself from is unwise.

Once married, there will be family pressure to embrace the stereotypical roles and produce kids.

Many people don't feel financially secure enough to make such commitments.

There may be an increasing mismatch in what Japanese men and women want out of a relationship.

Under increased societal, family and financial pressures, more folk may choose a simpler, single life. Fur babies, scale babies, hobbies and free time to call their own.

Instead of trying (and failing) to manipulate society, governments need to come up with innovative solutions to fund and serve the lives people want to lead.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

the cost of living and the salary wages are making life unlivable and not conducive for marriage. add to that the increasing toxicity of modern life that is insanely fast paced and needlessly competitive. I'm currently single in my early 30's and I'm over the fence on getting hitched considering how unfavorable the conditions are. I can barely take care of myself, what more for my partner?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This will sound obvious once I've said it, but the fall in marriages is massively correlated with the fall in people forming long term relationships.

In other countries, you can attribute the fall in marriages to people rejecting marriage. France for example has large numbers of people cohabiting and having children out of wedlock. So people are having relationships but not getting married. This is a clear rejection of marriage the institution.

In Japan, I do not see large numbers of unmarried people cohabiting. The ones I know, parents of other kids at school, are divorcees. In Japan, it appears people are not even forming long term relationships, the traditional step before getting married. A long term relationship simply involves going to dates and sending text messages. That is not a huge amount of cost or effort.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

One reason might be that the number of people of typical marrying age has fallen. It would be useful to see percentage figures as well as total numbers.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The concern here is whether this is the result of positive choices. If folk with no interest in marriage or relationships aren't having them, that's great and nothing to worry about. Unfortunately that does not appear to be the case for many.

About one-third of women (37.4%) and men (36.6%) aged 18 to 24 described themselves as single and not interested in a relationship. Only 1 in 7 (14.4%) women and 1 in 5 men (19.5%) aged 30 to 34 described themselves as single and disinterested.

https://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/focus/en/press/z0508_00142.html

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Besides the financial issues I can understand why Japanese women chose not to marry. Society expects them to give up on their career and stay at home to take care of husband and kids, or to continue working as well as taking care of husband and kids. A lot of the time women in Japan get a rough deal when getting married, and a lot of women just find it more rewarding to pass up on all that.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Look up what world's MOST successful people say in their later years, it's never about more superficial stuff. It's invariably about the love in their lives, people they care for, their legacies impacting others positively etc.

Then look up world's MOST successful & their REGRETS.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Some of the comments here seem to reflect tropes about Japanese men, some Showa era, and are projecting all kinds of empowerment onto Japanese women, where little may actually exist.

I suspect the number of women being rejected, by men who feel incapable of supporting a family, will be as high as or higher than the number of women rejecting a husband, who they imagine will be controlling or incapable of domestic chores. In both cases, men rejecting marriage due to financial concerns and women rejecting marriage due to fears over overwork or independence, the prime motivator is fear. People acting out of fear are not empowered.

The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard tells us “Marry, and you will regret it; don't marry, you will also regret it". The difference, to quote Gibby from the B#tthole Surfers, is that it is better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven't done. And if you see your Mom this weekend....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lack of affordable housing, child care, work life balance.

Perhaps simply stated, couples expectations of future married life, fail to hit the sweet spot of the desires, wanting something or that someone portrayed in your hopes and dreams.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The progression from dating to marriage to having kids is quite time and resource restricted. It's not only it takes alot of time and resources but there's only so much to accomplish them. Many factors impact this including demographic, economic, hierarchal, technological, social ones. And basically most of the changes in those over past 90 years I would say overall negatively impacts the younger generation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If the govt wants to encourage anything, make it cheaper to do that thing. If you want more marriages, make it cheaper for couples who are married. Reduce their taxes, so it costs more to be single. If you want more children, make it cheaper for couples to live in the same house all week and reduce their taxes to have children. If done correctly, those lowered taxes won't completely cover the cost of kids, but will make enough incentive to have at least 2 (replacement children to fill in for their parents).

My younger relatives don't plan to get married. They have 2 kids already and don't see the point. They are in love, but taxes are higher if they get married. They both make good livings and either could easily afford child care for both kids, though both have jobs that allow them to work from home most days.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Women not marrying means we have a pretty good society that women don't have to attach themselves to men they don't really like, to survive. That's what classical feminists have been fighting for right ? The dream has came true!

Why marry when it's going to be a miserable marriage ?

The only group of people who dislike people not marrying and having children are the politicians, because their ability to spend as much as they want depends on taxes.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

albaleo....

One reason might be that the number of people of typical marrying age has fallen. It would be useful to see percentage figures as well as total numbers.

Thank you. This is the main reason, though there are others.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My two bits, people have too many choices, that makes serious commitment easier to avoid. They don't realize when they have something special, take it for granted.

Rarely ends up well long-term, so many sad childless adults, both single and married, their choices generally reflect their values, that most end up regretting later on.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Can't count number of couples who can't bear being around children because they have none, so many old friends simply can't endure it. It's serious social problem that nobody wants to talk about.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

People are smartening up. The double punch for women is that after 40 they are unmarriageable like curdled milk even if they desperately want to. However, a guy with a good job who doesn't stink can still marry for the first time in his 50's or more. I know a guy who did just that with a 30-ish Chinese lady.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Marriage is essentially a relic left over from a bygone era, when religion and tradition were much more important in society. These days, especially if you are a man with any sort of earning potential or assets, the downsides to marraige far outweigh the upsides. Nothing wrong with being in a long-term, committed relationship, but better to just stay unmarried. Also, in Japan, where most marriages are born not of love but rather convenience, staying unmarried makes even more sense.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

The traditions of the country are becoming meaningless, unless they cost little to maintain.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

marriage and children are expensive

people are overworked and underpaid

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

The current societal trend for a few decades is that men and women should be antagonists/competitors instead of partners. How long this will last, I don't know.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Equality... When you push for equality, fewer and fewer people will find the idea of marriage as enticing!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Why get married when the world is your Oyster.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Also, must say, the Japanese man with only girls, he' s likely not a happy camper either. Another reason so many Japanese men don't want to risk having kids.

No risk, no reward, play it safe, see how works for you.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Because for so many ‘men’ here, no real woman will be as perfect as their Hatsune Miku type fantasy virtual anime manga 2D 3D non-real robot imaginary life partners.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Many men earning less than women, so women won't even consider them as partners; men Increasingly afraid to even approach a women due to being accused of harassment; head bitten off just for even attempting to make contact. women are no longer feminine; the break down of traditional gender roles.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites