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Marriage and Divorce in Japan

marriage in japan

A Shinto wedding
A Christian wedding
The mean age of first marriage was 30.9 for men and 29.3 for women in 2013, (in 1994: grooms, 28.5; brides, 26.2). The declining marriage rate and rising marrying age in recent years is one explanation for the dropping birth rate.

There are three kinds of Japanese wedding ceremonies: traditional Shinto ceremonies, modern Western-style Christian-style weddings, and 'non-religious' or 'civil' ceremonies, which are modelled on the West but have no religious connotations. in Japan, 60 to 70 percent of couples opt for a Christian-style wedding.

Couples are officially married once they have successfully submitted the required documents to the city hall registrar to change their status in their family registries. No ceremony of any kind is required under Japanese law.

divorce in japan

In 2013, the number of divorces totaled 231,000 couples, and the divorce rate (per 1,000 population) was 1.84.

About one in three Japanese marriages end in divorce, four times the rate in the 1950s and double the rate in the 1970s. The divorce rate has slowed, partly because fewer couples are getting married to begin with.

A new trend is to have a divorce ceremony that celebrates the end of a marriage or civil union. Divorce parties have been called the final frontier in the wedding industry complex, and often involve a toast that emphasises the couple beginning new chapters in their lives.

Click to read about divorce ceremonies.
Smashing a ring with a hammer
Divorce decree
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The National Chauvinistic Husbands Club

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Three principles of love in Japan
This “Don’t Divorce Me!” club was started in 2000 to help men treat their wives better. Membership in this club has dramatically increased because in April 2007 a new law in Japan entitles a wife filing for divorce to claim half her husband’s pension. Men are now waking up to the reality of what a marriage relationship is all about!

This club encourages and enables men to “love” their wives by saying:

• “Thank you” (say this without hesitation).
• “I am sorry” (say this without fear).
• “I love you” (say this without embarrassment).
Men get certificates when they are able to do the following (Rank 1-10, with #10 the ultimate goal):

1. Love your wife after three years of marriage.
2. Help with the household work.
3. No extramarital affairs, or at least keep it a secret from her.
4. Ladies first.
5. Hold hands with your wife in public.
6. Listen to what your wife wishes to say carefully and seriously.
7. Solve an issue between your wife and your mother.
8. Say “Thank you” without hesitation.
9. Say “I’m sorry” without fear.
10. Say “I love you” without embarrassment.

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Ephesians 2:10

Our desire is:

To walk with the Living God,
glorifying Him each day as we reveal
His love and grace.

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