Tokyo Government Launching Dating App to Tackle Plunging Birth Rate

TOKYO – In a bid to address Japan’s declining birth rate, the capital city of Tokyo is set to roll out its own dating app as early as this summer, a Tokyo official announced on June 4. The initiative aims to encourage singles to find partners and potentially start families, offering a novel approach to combatting the demographic challenge.

The upcoming app will require users to provide documentation proving their single status and express a willingness to pursue marriage. Setting itself apart from existing dating platforms, Tokyo’s app will also mandate the submission of a tax certificate to verify users’ annual income, adding a unique dimension to matchmaking criteria.

According to a Tokyo government official overseeing the project, the decision to develop the app stemmed from the observation that a significant portion of individuals desiring marriage are not actively engaging in matchmaking activities. By offering a user-friendly platform, authorities hope to nudge singles towards finding compatible partners and fostering meaningful relationships.

While matchmaking events are common in Japan, the development of a dedicated dating app by a local government represents a novel approach to addressing demographic concerns. The Tokyo app, currently undergoing a trial phase since late last year, includes an interview process to verify users’ identities, ensuring a secure and trustworthy environment for participants.

The announcement has elicited mixed reactions from the public, with some expressing skepticism about government involvement in matchmaking endeavors, questioning the allocation of taxpayer funds. Conversely, others have welcomed the initiative, citing potential safety benefits and an increased sense of security in navigating the dating landscape.

Japan’s demographic challenges have become increasingly pronounced, with the country recording a significant disparity between births and deaths in recent years. Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged a range of policies aimed at supporting families, including financial assistance, improved childcare access, and expanded parental leave provisions, as part of broader efforts to address labor shortages and demographic shifts.