Tokyo Metropolitan Government to launch dating app to fix birth date decline

Tech is going to solve all our problems, right? Tech — and especially AI — is the Band-Aid, the panacea. Or so we are led to believe, and so the government certainly seems to believe.

We wrote before that the Japanese government is turning to artificial intelligence to fix the chronically declining birth rate, and that many prefectures are now involved with matchmaking services in a desperate bid to reverse the drop in marriages and, more importantly, babies.

While we personally think the issue is much more about the work culture in Japan and (like in other countries) the dilemma women face over whether to prioritize their careers or starting a family, the government continues to believe that it’s just about getting the right people together and letting nature take its course.

While that’s true to a certain extent in terms of romance and sex, it’s not true when it comes to making that huge step about having offspring.

This week, the Asahi Shimbun reported that Tokyo Metropolitan Government is developing its own dating app, aiming to have it finished and available during the summer. It’s apparently one of the first such dating apps developed by a government in Japan (most of the initiatives by other governments have focused on introduction services and events).

tokyo metropolitan government dating app

“We learned that 70% of people who want to get married aren’t actively joining events or apps to look for a partner,” a Tokyo government official said, according to a AFP-Jiji report. “We want to give them a gentle push to find one.”

Since dating apps and similar websites tend to attract scammers, sexual predators, or men looking to have affairs (though there are, of course, dedicated apps and services for matching people both wanting extramarital affairs), Tokyo hopes to boost trustability by making users prove their income and single status.

A user will have to show photo ID to prove who they are as well as proof of address and unmarried status (there is a certificate you can get from your local ward office). Users will also input other information like height, academic record, occupation, and income (which will require showing a copy of a tax return to prove).

The need to provide such proof is an added hurdle and invasion of privacy that will no doubt put a lot of people off, but TMG is probably not expecting to get millions of users (and compete with the many commercial dating apps already on the market) but rather a smaller number of serious, committed users who will actually have success with the app in an age when a new potential (yet ultimately possibly fake) partner is just a swipe away.

According to app industry specialists quoted by the Asahi, dating apps that do not include info on income or when the user’s income listed is low have little success with finding a serious partner. Again, in an era of inflation, we might humbly suggest that the solution is to help Tokyo citizens with low incomes rather than prioritize those lucky ones with incomes that seem attractive on paper.

TMG’s as-yet unnamed app, which is part of the capital’s Tokyo Futari Story program of initiatives to address falling marriage and birth rates in the city, is expected not to be free.

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  • walter black June 7, 2024

    at this point, japan might as well forcefully their single citizen into relationships or at least one night stand

    there’s jdrama about this topic

  • Mike Travels June 7, 2024

    will foreigners be allowed to join? or will it be NO GAIJIN like the brothels?

  • Anon June 8, 2024

    Arent dating apps one of the main things that has ruined the concept of relationships among other things in the west? I cant imagine this working out well.

  • Jason June 10, 2024

    I want to date Erika Sato. Is she available on these apps?

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