Over 60 percent of Japanese males and 80 percent of Japanese females still live at home well into their 30s. They have been harshly dubbed, “parasite singles.” This growing trend has resulted in the parents of these individuals playing cupid to help their children find love.
Japan’s fertility rate is one of the lowest in the civilized world. More people are dying than actually being born. While the government is looking towards promoting immigration to offset the low birthrate, parents are secretly working with matchmaking companies to find future sons and daughters in law.
A singles firm, Exeo, arranges about 300,000 of these meetings every year. Another company, Office Ann, has even organized “lonely hearts” conventions. At these conventions, parents are presented with potential suitors information including: age, background, income, work, and blood type. If they like what they see, they are introduced to the canidates parents, who exchange numbers and work together to match up their children. Many of the children have no idea about it.
Do you think that it’s OK for the parents to play cupid with their children’s lives? This is very similar to the traditional custom of arranged marriages. Do you believe in that?