“When it comes to the Japanese family, the Heisei Era [which ends on April 30] could be characterized as an era in which the conventional family was no longer seen as a social requirement,” said Takeshi Goto, a multimillion-selling author, historian and researcher of the Heisei Era. A great deal of change can be seen over the last 30 years when looking at the family in Japan. Marriage used to be the norm, whereas that is no longer the case, many people now live alone, with a survey showing that nearly one in four men now reach age 50 without marrying (and living together outside of marriage is rare, at only 1.6 percent in 2010). In 2015 34.5% of people were living on their own in Japan. “It is predicted that one-third of men and one-fifth of women now in their 30s will remain single for life,” says Chizuko Ueno who is a former sociology professor. She calls the Heisei Era “the age of being alone.” Divorce is also on the rise. Part of the change can be attributed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Act in 1986, which helped more women gain financial independence. Another sociology professor, Masahiro Yamada, says that more than 75% of 20 to 34 year-olds are still financially reliant on their parents and also live with them. In 2016 the number of children born in Japan dropped below 1,000,000 for the first time since records began in 1899. Japan’s birthrate is among the lowest in the world, at 1.43. Pray for Japanese young people— they’re facing a significantly different country to what their parents and grandparents did. Pray for the influencers in Japanese society—that they will know how to direct this nation that is becoming very “solo.”
– Wendy Marshall
Writing pieces like this is part of Wendy’s job in mobilisation for OMF Japan. Pray that our work in getting the news out across the internet will bring more people to serve in Japan as well as to pray for this country.
For more of the Marshall’s work, visit: https://www.ido.com.au/marshalls.php