"When you think about how to prevent a decreasing population, nothing starts without marriage," said Kazuhiko Suzuki, an Ishioka city official.
At a recent "konkatsu," or "marriage-hunting," event, nearly 80 single men and women buzzed around the room trying to gather as many answers as possible to a list of icebreaker questions like "What is your favorite food?
"That is one of the reasons why many politicians are reluctant to promote women working outside [the home]." Some experts argue, though, that a more equal share of bread-winning and housework duties between the sexes will mean happier men and women -- and therefore, more babies. Both rank among the top 20 in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap index and boast fertility rates far higher than that of Japan, which ranks 101st out of 145 countries on the index.Setsuya Fukuda, a demographer at the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, points to the Netherlands and the U. But as Japanese officials can attest, getting people to couple up is no easy matter.But three years of speed dating in Ishioka has only yielded two married couples.And so the government is trying other options, including a housing stipend for those who marry and free early education for families with at least three children.As you might imagine, I did not find the love of my life.
I made some beginner’s mistakes; however, I am not alone in having struggled with speed dating.
They make split-second decisions on matters of the heart, creating a pool of information on one of the more ineffable yet vital questions of our time—how we select our mates.
The concept of rapid-fire dating has gained tremendous popularity, spreading to cities all over the world.
Start-up companies now meet with investors, pregnant couples interact with doulas, and homeless dogs court potential owners, all using the speed-dating format.
Some years ago I caved to my curiosity and tried it out myself. When the little buzzer went off after three minutes, I often found myself still trying to explain to my bedazzled dating partner why my last name has four syllables (it is Dutch).
The prefecture of Hiroshima has managed some degree of success: 15 couples who met through dating events that started last year have since married, and one baby arrived this summer.