SPICE DIGESTS

The Japanese Family Faces 21st-Century Challenges

Family-related issues are at the forefront of social challenges facing Japan: women are postponing marriage, the birth rate is falling, the divorce rate rising, teenage girls are dating middle-aged men to earn money to buy luxury goods, young men are finding it difficult to attract wives, and the percentage of the elderly is growing rapidly and their care is a major social problem. Japanese leaders are lamenting the breakdown of the Japanese family system or seeking to develop policies to shore up that system.

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