New mother Mariko Oi returns to her home country to witness the astonishing government incentives deployed to encourage young people to marry and have children. Japan has the fastest negative population growth in the world. Decades of low birth rates mean that its population is expected to fall from 127 million to 92 million in the next 40 years. We enter the world of konkatsu (“spouse-hunting”); municipally-sponsored singles events and elaborate speed dating parties to encourage couples to procreate. We’ll also hear of virtual partners, herbivore men, carnivore women and the generation of Japanese young people that has fallen out of love with conventional relationships.
Produced by Paul Smith
Broadcast: 11th Feb 2017