The Japanese government is funding matchmaking events in a desperate attempt to boost a birth rate that has halved over the past six decades.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has allocated an additional 3 billion yen (£17.7 billion) in this fiscal year’s budget for birthrate-boosting programmes as part of a strategy to reverse the nation’s shrinking population.
Japan is home to one of the fastest ageing societies in the world, with the population shrinking at a record 244,000 in 2013 alone, according to government figures.
The support of marriage – and the active encouragement of young people to settle down – is regarded by government policy-makers as a key strategy for boosting the nation’s birth rate.
As a result, local authorities are now able to apply for central government grants of up to 40 million yen (£237,000) for projects relating to supporting marriage and boosting birth rates, according to Bloomberg.