busteru0027s guide to dating - Government dating website

"We'd like to go out for dinner first, and start our relationship little by little," said one man, on his way out the door with his new girlfriend. Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly described the place where 15 couples who met through dating events have since married.

Digital technology and smartphones in particular have transformed many aspects of our society, including how people seek out and establish romantic relationships.

Olive Dating is an online dating website and friend finder for military singles and those that want to meet them.

And whenever anyone got too shy, elderly volunteers from a local "marriage-promotion committee" would step in to guide the conversation along. As it tries to revive its sputtering economy, the Japanese government hopes women like Abiko will pursue their careers at work and also have plenty of children.

Nozomi Abiko, 22, who works at a local bank, came to the event after her boss gathered all the single women in the office and suggested they attend the annual dating event. The world's third-largest economy is in dire need of more people: Japan's population shrank by one million to 127 million in the five years through 2015, according to the World Bank.

Pictures of the successful couples are plastered on brochures in Hiroshima as a reminder to singletons to hurry up.

Private businesses have also sprung up, such as a dating cram school in Ibaraki prefecture on the eastern coast, where Kyoko Ishiduka counsels singles on how to court each other.

That's led to taxpayer-financed dating services in places like Ishioka, a town about an hour outside Tokyo.

"When you think about how to prevent a decreasing population, nothing starts without marriage," said Kazuhiko Suzuki, an Ishioka city official.

Many of them "strongly believe that encouraging women to work reduces the birth rate, and leads to more divorce," said Machiko Osawa, a labor economist at Japan Women's University, who has long championed women's rights.

"That is one of the reasons why many politicians are reluctant to promote women working outside [the home]." Some experts argue, though, that a more equal share of bread-winning and housework duties between the sexes will mean happier men and women -- and therefore, more babies. Both rank among the top 20 in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap index and boast fertility rates far higher than that of Japan, which ranks 101st out of 145 countries on the index.

"The men are too shy to talk to the women, so I always encourage them," she said.

But three years of speed dating in Ishioka has only yielded two married couples.

In particular, the NHMRC also provides training and technical assistance presentations and documents for federally funded Healthy Marriage Initiative grantees.

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