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Are the Japanese authorities so desperate they really have to pay for it?

060427_Jap_couple.jpg

BBC News has an ostensibly interesting report on the notion that local governments in Japan have taken to subsidizing speed dating events in an effort to do something about the shrinking population.

This may be true, although more than one eyebrow was raised in this office over the lack of hard evidence. The BBC item offers nothing to support the idea, preferring to stick to well-worm clichés about the hard-working Japanese. Yes, people work hard here, but there is no shortage of opportunities to hook up with Keiko from accounting or Rie from the tennis club. The Japanese love socializing more than most, which is why it’s surprising to read a claim like this.

One photo caption claims that “Speed dating is a popular way for people to meet in Japan.” We can tell you with certainty that it absolutely is not. As for the government-cash core of the story, we’re pretty skeptical. If declining birth rates are the motivation for this, aren’t there more direct ways to incentivize people to go forth and multiply? If anyone out there knows better, please drop us a line and let’s get to the bottom of this.

(Via BBC News)

10:13 PM JMLH • Permalink
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Date much?


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