Japan’s state-owned version of Tinder

Oct 03, 2019

EVEN AFTER years of attending match-making parties, a professional in Tokyo explains, she has not found any suitable marriage prospects. “I’m tired of going to these events and not meeting anyone,” she gripes. So she has decided to expand her pool of prospective partners by looking for love outside the capital. To that end she has filled out an online profile detailing her name, job, hobbies and even weight on a match-making site that pairs up single urbanites with people from rural areas.

Match-making services that promote iju konkatsu, meaning “migration spouse-hunting”, are increasingly common in Japan. They are typically operated by an unlikely marriage-broker: local governments. In Akita, a prefecture near the northern tip of Japan’s main island, the local government has long managed an online match-making service to link up local lonely-hearts. It claims to have successfully coupled up more than 1,350 Akita residents since it launched nine years ago. It recently began offering a similar service to introduce residents to people living outside the prefecture and is optimistic about its prospects. “By using the konkatsu site, we hope that more people from outside will marry someone from Akita to come and live here,” says Rumiko Saito of the Akita Marriage Support Centre.

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