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1 in 4 singles in 30s not willing to marry: Japan gov't survey


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With the current work culture, this is not a surprise.

34 ( +55 / -21 )

speaking just for myself, relationship judgment in the 30s is not always the best. Better to take time and find the right person.

17 ( +29 / -12 )

More women than men, meanwhile, cited not wanting to change their surnames on becoming married

For those in the previous article about this issue saying that this Japan and their system and that foreigners shouldn't complain, Japan don't change blah... These are Japanese not happy with their pre-historic system. Should they just keep quiet too?

15 ( +39 / -24 )

Understandable when you see that at least one of the two is unhappy after a few years of marriage. Why give up your freedom or happiness if you know it's bound to be like that

11 ( +24 / -13 )


speaking just for myself, relationship judgment in the 30s is not always the best. Better to take time and find the right person.

Sure, wait until your 40s or 50s to find the right person, then forget about kids. It’s madness.

People used to get married in their 20s and were totally fine, indeed the people I know who’ve been married since that age are consistently stable in their marriages compared to today’s couples who have “dealbreakers” up the wazoo, and will divorce on the slightest of upsets.

14 ( +31 / -17 )

If the government actually had any interest in the populations happiness, rather then being focused on making wheezing company directors happy. These stories would not be told. 30yo should be in a position to have a family, younger would be better but decade by decade, in Japan next year the story will be 40yo not willing to get married. How can you when just paying the bills, the multi layer tax system leaves you telling your parents gomenasi I have no money but work 6 days a week. Can I eat a cup noodle mum?

11 ( +31 / -20 )

The white paper pointed out the need to create an environment in which young people can marry and raise children with peace of mind.

This means basically one thing in Japan: a stable income. And I fear those days are gone and many young people will be working part-time their whole lives. I hate to say it, but can you imagine Mrs. Suzuki’s face when her daughter says she’s engaged to marry a Uber delivery guy?

Japan has become a country of haves and have-nots in terms of children (and stable work). And this is no accident either. Many a LDP policy decision over the past 30 years have made this a reality as they support the rich who only want to become richer.

18 ( +39 / -21 )

Free union is also a solution.

More and more young will chose that way, a family without tying the knot

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Enjoy your freedom all you want, that's good. Just don't do it at the expense of your parents. Don't have mom cook, clean and do your laundry. Japan had a better start thinking about how to care for the aged free folk.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

If the government thinks marriage should be promoted then it is doing a terrible job. There have been many things it could be doing to facilitate and give advantages so people can formalize their relationship without so many worries about the future, but every chance is wasted and sometimes it seems the government is actively working to promote people to remain single.

15 ( +27 / -12 )

A separate white paper said that Japan is seeing a decline in its birthrate due to the spread of the coronavirus and that this could continue to fall below pre-pandemic levels, calling for online measures to support marriage and childcare.

Step 1: Commission meetings and a bureaucratic white paper blaming a long standing issue with systemic causes on a current event in the public consciousness.

Step 2: Call for "online measures" to address the problem that are vague and open for exploitation for useless corporate welfare schemes.

Step 3: Exploit the declining population for maximum profit as the misery continues.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

I think this statistic is a lot higher than this article states. I don't know a young Japanese woman that doesn't have stories of violence and stalking by previous boyfriends and they want to stay single for this reason. The men remain immature and dependant forever and most are looking to marry a proxy mother. Add to this video games, manga and being able to marry a sex doll it's pretty easy to see why many young Japanese women don't find Japanese men appealing. However, many Japanese women find foreign men appealing but want them to become Japanese. The future of Japan is very grey.

-6 ( +16 / -22 )

"Want to remain free"

Large misunderstanding about marriage here. If it's about sex and being monogamous I get it, but if it's about loosing "freedom", that's another story altogether.

I have been married 36 years, and being married isnt about losing freedom, it's about gaining someone to share it with.

Biggest point though, to each his or her own! I always HATE when the relatives get together and complain (being nice here) about their children or other nieces or nephews, who are in their late 20's or 30's and are single, pressuring them to think that their lives are incomplete, or there is something wrong with them because they havent gotten married and produced offspring!

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Just give us one reason as to why should any man or woman get locked in a lifetime contract???

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Yabaru I agree with you 100%. Sorry about yesterday.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Few years back marriage was seen as a way to secured future, Men, Women and mostly parents guided their kids towards marriage as a mean of security and prosperity, but now a days that is NOT the concern of young generation as more and more men and women enter the workforce and secure their own futures without the need for a partner.

Some will get married out of Love or the desire to have kids and that is understandable but even then there is NO NEED to give up your freedom for it!! many choose to have kids and continue to have that independence.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

As an Asian, I agree with Yubaru. I get hounded by my relatives to get hitched already. I'll just echo what the commenters above have said that with the current work culture and social norms in Japan, this is not a surprise. Who would have time to marry, let alone meet someone nice when work is consuming most of your working hours?

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Well the pasted several years have t been ideal for dating in Japan. I doubt it has gotten much better.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

As one of my students recently asked me:

Would you rather be married or happy?

Pretty much sums it up right there!

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Of the individuals who are not getting married or don’t want to get married, what percent of them are part of the LGBTQ+ community (openly or not)?

Additionally, I suspect sexlessness is a huge problem as well, whether you’re a man or woman. I meet a fair amount of men who say they are in a sexless relationship (I suppose the women are in a similar boat). These people probably have lost any spark if there ever was one. And while I can’t speak for the women, I do know of several men who not only seek out pleasure with other women (something that has been fairly common), but also with men due to the convenience and novelty of the situation.

For Japan to reverse the single-hood trend, a lot more than recommendations will need to happen.

-Salaries will have to rise (for everyone)

-Working hours will have to fall

-Communication within the relationships will have to improve

-Old expectations need a rethink

-Childcare/Elderly care facilities will have to increase and become affordable

-Education costs need to fall

-Modernize name policies

-Encourage the youth to move out earlier

Increase tolerance of all relationship styles

There are plenty more, but Japan doesn’t seem to be moving forward on much of anything. However, the reports seem to come out fairly regularly. If they’re not gonna fix anything stop wasting money on the reports then.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Government is not doing more concerning this issue pregnant woman not allowed at the company

they only looking for KAWAII KAWAII in the work places LOL

You must wear high heels shoes to work

Encourage woman to get pregnant and still continue working with good salaries

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

And I'll add, with the current economic climate and landlords unwilling to lower rents etc, more young people are opting to stay living at home.

Rising taxes, low wages, rising living costs - having a baby these days in Japan is not an affordable luxury! Thankfully my 3 year old and 2 year old are off formula and starting to use the potty more. The cost of diapers going up, formula going up, baby food, clothing, shoes, etc.... people can barely afford to live as a single person, never mind as a married couple!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

It's ironic too because I'm in my late 20s, married, and every Japanese person around us is getting married as well as my friends back in the US. Then again I am citing those who have stable income.

I feel Japan has it's own opportunities, it's just a matter of taking the risks. Owning a house in the US seems impossible when looking at the housing market and APR rates, but when you look at owning one in Japan, they are a lot more affordable if you look towards areas on the outskirts of Tokyo and the banks are more willing to give you a good 35 year mortgage. Sure owning a house will mean owning a depreciating asset in Japan, but at least you will have financial security if you play your cards right and you have a decent job. Pensions might not be what they used to be back in the old days but they are still there. And insurances are great as well! I think the true reason why many choose to not get married is simply because of the horrendous working culture here. You just don't have time to do the things you want to do like go to the gym or any other hobbies. Meanwhile you earn peanuts in comparison to any other country for working hard. Who wouldn't be de-motivated in this scenario?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

A loss of freedom and associated housework

That's hilarious !

My wife and i enjoy doing housework together because it's our happy home.

As far as freedom is concerned we are free to do things we couldn't have done unless we are married.

When two people work together to achieve something the possibilities are endless.

Stability priceless.

Anyway from my personal observations regardless of what the article reports - i see more young couples getting married as life is more enjoyable when you have someone to share it with and financially less difficult.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Looking to the bright side, the present-day situations in Japan are in a way better than they used to be. Back then marriage and a kid or two for adult couples, ideally in their 20s, was nearly compulsory or taken for granted. Those who didn't follow the norm were stigmatized or worse ostracized from the belonging community. Today older singles can speak out and enjoy freedom.

Much outdated are state-planning and support programmes. They are still designed based on the "model" schedule from mating to family development although such a scenario is becoming rarer or invalid. Career development or employment benefits also tend to be driven by old stereotypes.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As one of my students recently asked me:

Would you rather be married or happy?

Pretty much sums it up right there!

Wrong assumption really. Sure many get divorced, for a plethora of reasons, mostly, in my opinion, an inability to communicate effectively, which means the ability to LISTEN.

Your student has a false impression of what marriage is about.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Reading this government survey has helped me to become an expert on marriage and income.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The title is a poor translation, the word 'willing' is a little complicated.

The Japanese is kekkonganbo nashi:

One in four have no desire to get married.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

How do you date, when both people are wearing masks, women’s only way to express their beauty is by excessive eye makeup and hair dye, men by hair lotion and expensive clothes? On the date, there is a big plastic screen like in a prison to stop aerosol transmission, and you can’t hold hands without damaging your skin first with lashing of alcohol sanitizer. Then there is social distancing and rules about not speaking loudly.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

If I was working in Japan still, no way would I want to get married.

Back home, I can stop working at 4:30p and leave, not be bothered at home, and only have to socialize with people from work 2x a year (company picnic and Xmas party). About 3 months of a year, I have to work longer hours, but the rest of the time, I manage my time and external expectations to ensure no crazy work hours are needed.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

When would you get the time to focus on a relationship? it just work work work work...weekends to partly work and recover

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Free union is also a solution.

It’s also largely an illusion, but they are welcome to try.

I have been married 36 years, and being married isnt about losing freedom, it's about gaining someone to share it with.

Indeed. And, of course, it’s not always easy. It’s a work in process. A construction project with all the mess and odds and ends all about.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The mendokusai generation, brought to you by a 'One size fits All' education system where generic thinking and patterns are so entrenched, so constrictive, that it even overrides our fundamental human instincts to hook up, start a family and of course (the real juice of life) finding true and meaningful love. (Long-term relationships with someone other than yourself! )

Being able to put someone elses needs in front of your own has to be one of the greatest gifts of companionship, not only for your own long-term mental well-being but for all those around you too. This "I'll be fine on my own" style of thinking, although attractive on the surface, will hit you later in life like a ton of bricks.

So many complex reasons behind the loveless generation, stagnant economy, low productivity and motivation, masks, ( both face ones and psychological ones ) but self-expression and communication skills also have a lot to do with it. So very sad for those that just give up as theres a ton of lonely people out there in exactly the same boat! Someone needs to tell them selfishness and loneliness is a guaranteed road to despair! Ring the alarm bells! Make some romantic movies! Do something, talk to your kids about life! Don't expect the government to do anything with their ridiculous attempts to encourage women to have more children either, that just makes the problem worse.

Just like the song goes, love is all you need!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I saw a chart the other day and it suggested that Japan now has one of the highest birthrates in East Asia. After seeing years of doomsaying headlines to articles that focus on Japan in isolation, I ended up laughing out loud. If its happening across the continent, you cannot blame the state on Japan-specific things.


It is sad if economic or social pressures are preventing young people from leading the lives they want. Some of the reasons given though, such as marriage=nasty housework, sound like projecting by people who are naive and whose entire life experience may amount to watching their mother and father.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I can agree with both opinions that the birth rate is decreasing and want to hold on to their freedom in their 20s-the 30s. I think Japan is seriously going to disappear if the birth rate continues. Because having children over the 40s is risky for the mothers and their children's health. What's more, low income is a big issue recently, and if keeps going down, having children family, and people who want to get married rates are also lowering certainly. So, increasing income is the only solution to keep this country. Or, maybe accept foreigners.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Find a partner that will start have a serious and heated discussion with a lot of different ideas and end it with a ….smile and a laugh.

It has worked for me,for over 25 years.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A man in Japan has almost nothing to gain by getting married. A woman on the other hand can do very well, especially when she sponges off him during the marriage and even after divorcing.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Well...as the article says - 1 in 4 are not willing to marry.

1 in 4 isn't drastic so i don't see whats all the hubbub negative comments about.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )


Obviously your talking of your own personal experience .

However it's impossible for you to know what or how all others marriages are like in Japan or anywhere else.

Iam sorry your marriage didn't work out .

No big surprise .

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

As I have been sayin for the last couple decades Japans birhtrate will continue to decline & is likely to go over a cliff, this article is simply more evidence of this.

As for marriage, in the west its simply a DANGEROUS move if you are a man, pretty much guaranteed to be divorced & financially & emotionally destroyed by family courts, its an insanely bad risk, bad behavior by women has made them weaponized & then now opening use these in divorce courts, men are wising up in large numbers. Sad to see Japan is also headed that direction with similar & some unique Japan problems.

If I was young again i would INDEED stay SINGLE!!!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Iam sorry your marriage didn't work out .

I've never been married. I'm not that stupid. I see you fell through the net!

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

With the current work culture, this is not a surprise.

Although the work culture situation in Japan is far from ideal (but still ultimately worlds better than countries like China), I believe it being a cause for declining marriage rates is exaggerated.

In many countries around the world, there are factors leading men to not get married. Because of the proliferation of divorce horror stories thanks to the internet, men are more skeptical of marriage than ever before, even leading to the MGTOW movement in Western countries.

Through mass media, the world closely witnessed the Depp v. Heard lawsuit on full display. There have been other major examples prior to this, and I think young men around the world are scared this sort of thing could happen to them as well.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Brothers are doing it for themselves.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Oh well. Just remember that China has ten times the population.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe they know that getting married in Japan leads to a death of one's sex life.

...or so I've heard...from a friend, like.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

That's cool, that's their choice. They've just decided to adopt sterile, pointless lives that won't matter a damn. When they're old, with no one to care for them, no kids or grandkids, they can enjoy lots of cats or mahjong games to ease the loneliness and pain. Then they'll die, and literally no one will care or remember they ever existed.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

When they're old, with no one to care for them, no kids or grandkids, 

Shows how selfish you are! What a horrible reason to have kids!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

It's terrible that young people have been conditioned to have that view of marriage. Your partner is someone who loves you and watches out for you and takes half the workload off you so you both have more freedom and more free time to spend together. People these days have become very selfish, and started to value their jobs over their lives, thinking about how much money they can get for fun things if they only keep working and working, and they end up tired, old, and alone.

We need to put more value on things that have actual value, like relationships and families. Looking after children is an incredibly rewarding and powerful job. As I've gotten older, I've realised I was tricked into looking down on stay-at-home mothers, when really they have the best lives for them, their children, and society.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

thinking about how much money they can get for fun things

"fun things" like pay the rent/mortgage, but food, pay the bills, you mean?

I was tricked into looking down on stay-at-home mothers, when really they have the best lives

I would LOVE to be a stay-at-home dad! Can you support me financially?!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@David Brent

It would seem your reasons for not being married are entirely out of your control.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

They keep doing these surveys and get “shocking” results. But then get sited for a bunch of reasons why people don’t wanna marry much less have kids, followed by the ldp and more being like “what can we do!?”

when your work, social structure and government policy make it unappealing for couples, people ain’t going to hook up. As a man the burden of providing for multiple others with a paltry 20-40 man a month is a struggle I wouldn’t want. As a woman my social and career status takes a dive if I even let it be known I’m in a relationship in most companies.

literal snake eating it’s tail

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why buy the cow if you’re gettin’ the milk for free!?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@David Brent.

Spot on!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This kind of reports often prompts many to make sweeping statements and judgements. If 25% of people with the life experience of someone over thirty decide they don't want to do what society expects of them, it's their choice. We need to stop treating people like baby-making, capital-producing machines. And yeah, there are demographic problems, but aren't there other solutions to that than judge young people?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

the white paper also called for helping nonregular workers find secure jobs.

This rigid style of labour agreements that effectively classifies some workers as unsuitable for marriage ought to be abolished.

Japan needs reforms, and leveling the labour market playing field is one of them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not an issue.

Japan needs to work on raising better wage for workers, this would increase the birthrate.

Japan itself already has the highest birthrate among China and Korea (North and South), the problem is it's not high enough yet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not surprised by this, at least 1 in 4 Japanese men seem to be happy sat at home getting fed and cared for by their mothers.... They don't want wives or girlfriends... they have anime porn and Nogizaka 46...

I worry about the future of this country!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

A small silver lining (quite small I will admit) is that quite a few educated women no longer need marriage as a means of economic stability. They are quite capable Of earning their own salary and living stably without having to enter into a (sometimes) one-sided economic contract. This is a good thing.

In our case, the better half has done very well for herself. Still wonder why she keeps me around, but after 27 years, I’ve learned not to ask questions with possibly uncomfortable answers....

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Masks have to be the least attractive aspect of life today in Japan. Please, let's stop the mask wearing mandate. Covid Omicron is running rampant, yet few are hospitalized. It's endemic now. STOP with the cosplay already.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I hope this is generational, but David Brent is mainly right. Many women here expect men to pay for them to basically do nothing. My wife has never worked in more than 20 years, despite our frequent financial struggles, and she never would. Her only hobby is reading twitter, which she does all day every day, while I work myself into an early grave paying the ludicrous costs of Japanese private education. My teenage kids have seen this all their lives. One swears he will never marry, and the other will only marry a girl who wants a career. I have a long wait before I meet my grand children.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

i feel sad for this generation, as love and dating are just no longer possible. I myself am still dating but I find the constant mask wearing to be difficult when communicating.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I do wonder why birth rates are falling. If it were indeed a bad work-life balance and lack of care for females in the workplace, then why are some european countries having falling birth rates, despite better work-life balance (30-35 hour work week and right to not answer phone when off), year+ of paid parental leave (maternity and paternity).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Who wants to get married in Japan when working hours are horrendous, workplace harassment, especially for females are commonplace, gender roles are still prominent, men get demoted and shamed for taking parental leave, and salaries have been stagnant since the 80s but living costs and taxes have increased exponentially? Not to mention the ridiculously expensive yet lacking daycare facilities for working parents. None of these are conducive to a relationship let alone a marriage. Japan wants to up the birthrate and encourage marriage? Overhaul the entire social structure of the country.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Loveless marriage,while sleeping single in a double bed

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Romania has a declining population and the government there gives women 2 years paid maternity leave. Japan needs some be policies aimed at women and families.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Many countries have a substantial baby bonus system (Canada about $7000/year/child) rather than a corporate one. On top of that year long maternity benefits for both.

Japan needs to turn away from crazy overtime and the corporate mentality of living to work. I'm sure people are quite tired of it

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Not too many women will enter a marriage to a man who does not have a stable reasonably well paid job. The economy is littered with agency jobs, contracts, baito, dispatch etc. if the economy and job prospects perk up marriage and children will follow.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Society and the government makes marrying something difficult, inconvenient and risky, and then act surprised when people are raised thinking this is something to avoid?

good luck making young people think about getting married, maybe it would be better to just give up with this generation and just make plans so their children may go back to tying the knot as some retro experience 20 years from now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Fzlling birthrate is just that women have the average choice between have children and be brave to educate them , or just be egotistical. Why have children when society gives more importance to a material world than life itself ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jonathan Prin June 16 01:31 pm JST

Fzlling birthrate is just that women have the average choice between have children and be brave to educate them , or just be egotistical. Why have children when society gives more importance to a material world than life itself ?

You state it as if it is a fact, and not just your personal opinion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@girlin tokyo.

Thank you for underlining it is a fact, on average. I tend to be simplistic.

I would do the same if I were a woman, ie not marry and enjoy life, because no one cares when people nowadays show a character that was once seen as valuable.

Same applies in fact for men not supporting a family, but obviously are not the one to get children . Why care when no one cares ?

Reality is going to hit the wall when population will decrease so much that everyone's quality of life will be affected.

Having and taking care of your children is the normal trend of life. Nowadays chosing the opposite is seen as a more respected situation although it is easier choice.

So be it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

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