Japan Turns to AI in Bid to Increase Marriage Rates

japan ai marriage


In various parts of Japan, traditional matchmaking events, known as “konkatsu,” are now getting a modern twist with the incorporation of AI. This innovative approach, supported even by the central government, aims to counter the challenges of depopulation. Subsidies for AI matchmaking events have seen an increase since fiscal year 2021.

As of March last year, 31 out of Japan’s 47 prefectures, including Tokyo, were offering AI matchmaking services, signaling a widespread adoption of technology in the pursuit of love.

Ehime Prefecture in western Japan has taken a unique approach, using big data to match potential partners. Their system considers personal information registered with the marriage support center and analyzes the internet browsing history of individuals seeking a mate.

Tochigi Prefecture, situated north of Tokyo, follows a similar path. Katsuji Katayanagi from its marriage support center notes that young people often delegate decisions, and occasionally relying on big data to recommend partners is a helpful strategy.

Saitama Prefecture, an early adopter of AI in matchmaking since 2018, reported 139 couples married by the end of November last year. Some couples acknowledge meeting partners they might not have chosen themselves, showcasing the system’s ability to facilitate diverse encounters.

Shiga Prefecture responded to the challenges posed by the pandemic by launching an online marriage support center in 2022, employing a system akin to Saitama’s. By the end of January, 13 couples had chosen to marry through this support center, with AI introducing six of them to their partners.

Another system involves users answering over 100 questions, allowing AI to assess the qualities individuals are seeking in a partner before making introductions.

Mayu Komori, chief administrator of the Shiga prefectural child and youth bureau, emphasized that those utilizing the service are serious about marriage, acknowledging the not-so-cheap registration fee of 15,000 yen (PHP5,600) for two years.

As Japan embraces technology to strengthen connections, could AI be the modern cupid, sparking unexpected but meaningful connections?

via ABS-CBN News