Tokyo to Launch Government-Owned Dating App

Japan’s capital city, Tokyo, is set to launch a government-owned dating platform over the summer to help locals find love amid an historic birth rate crisis that has left many experts worried about Japan’s future. Although people in many developed countries struggle to find romantic partners, Japan makes it especially difficult for young professionals to pair up and start their own families.

This is largely due to the Asian country’s culture of extreme hard work coupled with a social culture that’s heavily reliant on group-based work departments and student clubs. For individuals without particularly appealing aspects, such as wealth, the country’s social norms make it extremely difficult to meet prospective partners. The result is fewer people getting married in Japan and an increasingly low birth rate poised to have significant effects on Japan’s socioeconomic demographic.

With dating apps, however, Japanese people can meet prospective partners from outside their usual work or school groups, giving them a chance to find love from outside their often-restrictive school and work social circles. Designed and operated by Tokyo’s government, the new dating app is part of the Japanese government’s effort to raise Japan’s dropping birth rates under the assumption that people would be more likely to have a child with someone they are in a steady relationship with.

The new dating application will be available to anyone 18 years of age and older who is living, working or studying in Tokyo. Leaders hope to increase faith and confidence in the dating app by making it a government-administered program. With the media reporting more cases of dating app-related security hazards, a growing number of people are turning away from dating apps for safety reasons. Tying the dating app to the government gives the application a greater sense of safety and would likely make users less wary of interacting with individuals on the dating platform.

New users will be required to go through additional identity verification steps during the sign-up stage, such as submitting a photo ID as well as a copy of their family register or other paperwork proving that they aren’t already married. They will also have to reveal their annual income through their income tax and tax withholding documents and provide data on their formal education, height and the type of work they do.

Additionally, new users will have to undergo an online interview with a human administrator and take part in a personality assessment before all their information is fed into the dating app’s artificial intelligence system and used to introduce them to others who they are most likely to have chemistry with.

Tokyo’s government involvement in the online dating space shows that other actors in different jurisdictions, such as Momo Inc. (NASDAQ: MOMO), also contribute in some way to the starting of families. When the observed safety threats are addressed adequately, more people could turn to these apps to find marriage partners.

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