The Japanese government is funding matchmaking events in hopes of reversing a six-decades’ long downward trend in birthrates.
According to The Telegraph, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “has allocated an additional 3 billion yen in this fiscal year’s budget for birthrate-boosting programs as part of a strategy to reverse the nation’s shrinking population.”
Japan’s population is aging so much faster than birthing that “in 2013 alone” their population declined by 244,000.
But with the government making money available to change this, “local authorities” can “apply for grants of up to 40 million yen for projects relating to supporting marriage and boosting birthrates.” These local authorities also set up “matchmaking events…where young singles are introduced to one another in romantic settings.”
In rural areas this includes introductions in cafes “complete with a romantic soundtrack of live piano music.”
The money is also used to pay for other functions–specifically described as “spouse-hunting events”–held around the country.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at email@example.com