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What Japanese Women Want: A Western Husband
The Christian Science Monitor ^ | December 6, 2004 | Bennett Richardson

Posted on 12/06/2004 9:12:18 AM PST by MississippiMasterpiece

TOKYO – The Japanese government wants women like Taeko Mizuguchi to get married and start doing something about the nation's plunging birthrate. But she's not interested.

At least, not if her prospective husband is Japanese.

A growing number of Japanese women are giving up on their male counterparts, and taking a gamble that looking abroad for love will bring them the qualities in a partner that seem rare at home. Mr. Right, as the hope goes, is often an American or European, a man appreciative of a wife's career and more of a partner in daily tasks.

"They treat you like equals, and they don't hesitate to express mutual feelings of respect - I think Western men are more adept [at such things] than Japanese men," says the 36-year-old Ms. Mizuguchi, who works at a top trading firm. "They don't act like women are maids - I think they view women as individuals."

Underscoring that Japanese women are losing hope with the local boys, dating agencies to help snag a Western husband have sprung up in Tokyo, some with branches in the US and Europe. Such companies rigorously vet their clients, screening for education, family background, occupation, and life goals.

The kind of women who sign up for such services include doctors, lawyers, and other professionals - women who have delayed marriage to concentrate on careers and who aren't keen to give up hard won gains to become a housewife, as many Japanese men expect.

Japanese women have come to consider traditional marriage roles as "disadvantageous in terms of time resources - they have to carry the burden of domestic chores as well as lose their free time," says Chizuko Ueno, a professor of sociology at Tokyo University.

Normally, married Japanese women have not only to look after their own parents during old age, but also to care for their parents-in-law. When it comes to raising kids, "they can't expect much cooperation from their partner" because of the long work hours required at many Japanese corporations and because of established gender roles that assume that the woman does the child-rearing, Ms. Ueno adds.

A generation of women who are now entering their 30s don't want to give up single life unless prospective partners are willing to break from traditional gender roles.

Government polls conducted to find out why women have put off marriage until well after 25 years of age - known as a woman's " 'best before' date" - show that economic independence is key to the change. As most Japanese women have their own income, marriage is no longer a financial necessity and women want to find companionship in a husband.

That is where Japanese men have come up short. There is "a wide gap in men's and women's attitudes and expectations toward marriage" vis-à-vis traditional gender roles, says Sumiko Iwao, professor of social psychology at Musashi Institute of Technology in Yokohama. For instance, coming home later than your Japanese husband is a no-no.

Having ruled out an old-fashioned Japanese husband, many women here think the solution is a Western man. Indeed, some seem so enthralled with the idea that they are willing to spend thousands of dollars to inspect the wares personally. Of the more than 2,000 women on the books at one large matchmaking agency, about 200 travel to the US or Europe each month to meet prospects.

Sentimental projections have recently been extended to Korean men also, due to romantic Korean soap operas.

In 2003, Japanese women marrying American or British men outnumbered Japanese men marrying American or British women by 8 to 1. The total proportion of Japanese marrying foreigners each year has crept up from around 3.5 percent in 1995 to just over 5 percent. Japanese men are actually more than three times as likely as the women to take a foreign spouse, but this is mostly rural men marrying less well-off Chinese and Filipino women. "Such cases are elderly farmers not popular among young Japanese women," says Yuriko Hashimoto, a local government employee in the remote northern prefecture of Iwate.

To be fair, not all the blame for female angst here can be laid on Japanese men. The government has been slow to enforce equal opportunity laws, and both pay and the glass ceiling in most Japanese corporations remain low for women. Recession has hampered longer maternity leave and other family-friendly policies.

As Japan's fertility rate drops to new lows - at last count it was 1.29, well below levels required for population replacement - the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is anxiously drawing up plans to make it easier for young couples to raise children, through such measures as the provision of cheap public housing.

Mixed marriages in Japan

Japanese men marry:
Chinese 10,242 Filipinos 7,794 Koreans 2,235 Americans 156 British 65

Japanese women marry:
Koreans 5,318 Americans 1,529 Chinese 890 British 334 Filipinos 117

Source: 2003 Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
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1 posted on 12/06/2004 9:12:19 AM PST by MississippiMasterpiece
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

Considering the attitudes of many American women an Asian wife may be preferable.


2 posted on 12/06/2004 9:15:14 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: JenB

Here we go again...


3 posted on 12/06/2004 9:16:01 AM PST by RosieCotton (He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative. - GKC)
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To: Semper Paratus

I'm not touching this one.


4 posted on 12/06/2004 9:16:06 AM PST by I got the rope
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

I wish the article told us if the women wanted to bring their husbands to Japan or whether they moved to the U.S. or Europe.


5 posted on 12/06/2004 9:16:45 AM PST by HostileTerritory
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

Sounds like a driver of social change to me. When your women are losing interest in the clan and start hitching up with outsiders, things will change.


6 posted on 12/06/2004 9:17:25 AM PST by kezekiel
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

This guy is living in dreamland.


7 posted on 12/06/2004 9:17:41 AM PST by ragnarocker (psalm 68:24)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
A generation of women who are now entering their 30s don't want to give up single life unless prospective partners are willing to break from traditional gender roles.

Sounds like they have been Americanized already.

8 posted on 12/06/2004 9:17:56 AM PST by NeoCaveman (http://route-82.blogspot.com (Now with 20% more stuned beebers))
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

Maybe, but that's a huge cultural gap to overcome. ;)


9 posted on 12/06/2004 9:18:30 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
I worked with some Japanese Students during the Summer quite a few years ago.

One of the guys once told me that A Japanese man wants a Japanese wife, a Chinese cook, and an American bathroom.

10 posted on 12/06/2004 9:20:02 AM PST by yarddog
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

And we try to tell out American wives this and they don't believe you.


11 posted on 12/06/2004 9:20:06 AM PST by bmwcyle (I wear sleepwear therefore I think (When they are off I am single minded))
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

Hmmm. Instead of them looking for husbands, they should focus on single men. Heh heh.


12 posted on 12/06/2004 9:20:16 AM PST by CheneyChick (Proud to be a Vet!)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

I lived there for 9 mos. in 2002-3. To meet more Japanese I joined a badminton group that had several foreign members. Some people just liked to meet and socialize with foreigners, but I was surprised how frank many women were about wanting to marry a Westerner. (I was already married so I probably was able to get a more honest take.)


13 posted on 12/06/2004 9:20:23 AM PST by untenured
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To: RosieCotton

Sigh... yes... because all American women are evil and Asian women are inherently loving, giving, and submissive. (It's never because they want a green card, is it?)


14 posted on 12/06/2004 9:20:56 AM PST by JenB (I will not turn into a snake. It doesn't help.)
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To: Semper Paratus
Considering the attitudes of many American women an Asian wife may be preferable.

I wonder if Willie Green would want to put a tariff on an Asian bride.

15 posted on 12/06/2004 9:20:56 AM PST by You Dirty Rats
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To: Semper Paratus
If it's bad form to be asked (and to HAVE to be asked!) to help care for the children you helped bring into the world and the house you help pay for, then I suppose you would find a traditional Asian wife more accommodating.
16 posted on 12/06/2004 9:21:01 AM PST by exnavychick (Just my two cents, as usual.)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
Ah

so
17 posted on 12/06/2004 9:21:36 AM PST by evets (God bless president George W. Bush)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Bump


18 posted on 12/06/2004 9:21:51 AM PST by Incorrigible (immanentizing the eschaton)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

Interesting ... A new mail-order-bride market opening up.
I'm working on my future Ukrainian bride.


19 posted on 12/06/2004 9:22:22 AM PST by shekkian
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

My husband and I are conservative. We have a pretty "traditional" marriage in that I'm a stay-at-home mom and he works full time to support us. Most household chores are divided along the typical gender roles. OTOH, my husband has never and would never treat me like the "maid" or in a subservient manner of any kind. I can sympathize with women anywhere who reject that kind of behavior. If they think they can find respect from a man outside their own country, more power to them.


20 posted on 12/06/2004 9:23:25 AM PST by workerbee
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To: JenB
Sigh... yes... because all American women are evil and Asian women are inherently loving, giving, and submissive.

You know it! ;-)

21 posted on 12/06/2004 9:23:49 AM PST by RosieCotton (He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative. - GKC)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
Well there we go folks. The "fit has hit the shan". You could always count on Japanese women to be good housewives, but NO - not anymore. The Japanese women prefer to live "liberated" lives now. I think this is one of the Biblical signs that the Apocalypse is near.
22 posted on 12/06/2004 9:23:50 AM PST by Jaysun (Trees are a renewable resource you idiots.)
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To: Semper Paratus
Considering the attitudes of many American women an Asian wife may be preferable.

Well, if the Asian women are adopting Western-style attitudes, what's the point?
23 posted on 12/06/2004 9:24:34 AM PST by fr_freak
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
Mixed marriages in Japan

Japanese men marry: Chinese 10,242 Filipinos 7,794 Koreans 2,235 Americans 156 British 65

Japanese women marry: Koreans 5,318 Americans 1,529 Chinese 890 British 334 Filipinos 117

Source: 2003 Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare

Those are the gross figures. We're talking less that 29,000 mixed marriages a year in a country of 126,550,000. This is not exactly a tsunami of cultural change...

24 posted on 12/06/2004 9:24:46 AM PST by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: JenB
Sigh... yes... because all American women are evil and Asian women are inherently loving, giving, and submissive. (It's never because they want a green card, is it?)

This should brighten your day: American Women Suck.com

25 posted on 12/06/2004 9:25:49 AM PST by Fatalis
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
"They treat you like equals, and they don't hesitate to express mutual feelings of respect - I think Western men are more adept [at such things] than Japanese men," says the 36-year-old Ms. Mizuguchi, who works at a top trading firm. "They don't act like women are maids - I think they view women as individuals."

Not this one. I'm no sucker.

26 posted on 12/06/2004 9:26:01 AM PST by Age of Reason
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To: JenB
That is where Japanese men have come up short.

hmmmm...could this be the reason?

27 posted on 12/06/2004 9:26:33 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: Age of Reason
Not this one. I'm no sucker.

LOL! Roger that!
28 posted on 12/06/2004 9:27:02 AM PST by Jaysun (Trees are a renewable resource you idiots.)
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To: Semper Paratus

Someone had to say it.


29 posted on 12/06/2004 9:27:36 AM PST by SMARTY ('Stay together, pay the soldiers, forget everything else." Lucius Septimus Severus, to his sons)
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To: fr_freak
Well, if the Asian women are adopting Western-style attitudes, what's the point?

If they don't adopt Western-style feminist ingratitude, they're a definite trade-up. LOL

30 posted on 12/06/2004 9:28:01 AM PST by Fatalis
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To: Jaysun
You could always count on Japanese women to be good housewives, but NO - not anymore. The Japanese women prefer to live "liberated" lives now. I think this is one of the Biblical signs that the Apocalypse is near.

Poor guy..... Even the Geisha are getting all uppity.

31 posted on 12/06/2004 9:29:55 AM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

Love you long time bump.


32 posted on 12/06/2004 9:30:05 AM PST by BulletBobCo
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
I'm convinced that much of the hatred of the west from many societies is based on how we treat our women and the fear that they have that exactly this phenomenon will increase.

Muslims hate us because of it.

33 posted on 12/06/2004 9:30:24 AM PST by Protagoras (When your circus has a big tent, you can fit a lot of clowns inside.)
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To: Semper Paratus

Considering the attitude of some American men, I can only agree with you.....


34 posted on 12/06/2004 9:30:25 AM PST by Hi Heels (Proud to be a Pajamarazzi.)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

Bump for now to see the bloodbath later.


35 posted on 12/06/2004 9:31:15 AM PST by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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To: Hi Heels
Considering the attitude of some American men, I can only agree with you.....

LOL!

36 posted on 12/06/2004 9:31:26 AM PST by RosieCotton (He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative. - GKC)
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To: untenured

I am going to Japan for 2 weeks of speaking engagements in February. All of my Japanese friends (all men from age 40 to 65) have warned me that young Japanese women will throw themselves at me because there really is a shortage of men willing to marry. I thought they were joking, but they were very serious and I have heard the same thing from over a dozen people so far.


37 posted on 12/06/2004 9:31:53 AM PST by Kirkwood
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To: ladyjane

I'm surprised..it took 27 postys for the first crack about penis size, and it comes from a female..conversative women rock!!~


38 posted on 12/06/2004 9:33:05 AM PST by ken5050
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To: Fatalis

If so, whats the beef witrh them? LOL


39 posted on 12/06/2004 9:33:19 AM PST by Protagoras (When your circus has a big tent, you can fit a lot of clowns inside.)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

Two words: Yoko Ono.


40 posted on 12/06/2004 9:33:46 AM PST by Tribune7
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To: JenB
"Sigh... yes... because all American women are evil and Asian women are inherently loving, giving, and submissive."

Not evil...just domineering, manic-depressive, materialistic, crude, aggressive, mostly overweight, corrupted by marxist-feminism and basically unfit for motherhood.

Bump for American guys...we are the cream of the crop....so says the dozens of foreign women that I have talked to about this.

Asian women....well....act like women.

41 posted on 12/06/2004 9:34:09 AM PST by Pio (Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus)
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To: JenB
Sigh... yes... because all American women are evil and Asian women are inherently loving, giving, and submissive.

Oh, I wouldn't say all American women are evil. Just the first two I married. The third one's been great. Send more!

;o)

42 posted on 12/06/2004 9:34:10 AM PST by Prime Choice (I like Democrats, too. Let's exchange recipes.)
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To: RosieCotton; Jen

Yes, why, just look at one of the more famous examples: Yoko Ono.


43 posted on 12/06/2004 9:34:36 AM PST by knittnmom
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To: Pio; RosieCotton
Not evil...just domineering, manic-depressive, materialistic, crude, aggressive, mostly overweight, corrupted by marxist-feminism and basically unfit for motherhood.

And you probably wonder why you have trouble getting second dates.

Good grief.

44 posted on 12/06/2004 9:35:31 AM PST by JenB (I will not turn into a snake. It doesn't help.)
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To: Kirkwood
All of my Japanese friends (all men from age 40 to 65) have warned me that young Japanese women will throw themselves at me because there really is a shortage of men willing to marry.

That's probably an overstatement, which is unsurprising if everyone saying it is a Japanese man. But a man who was actively looking for a wife would have no trouble finding candidates.

45 posted on 12/06/2004 9:35:56 AM PST by untenured
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To: Pio
Bump for American guys...we are the cream of the crop

Not the ones that are afraid of women with their own opinions.

46 posted on 12/06/2004 9:35:59 AM PST by Bella_Bru (You're about as funny as a case sensitive search engine.)
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To: Pio
Not evil...just domineering, manic-depressive, materialistic, crude, aggressive, mostly overweight, corrupted by marxist-feminism and basically unfit for motherhood.

Yep, every single last one of us.

Meanwhile, American men are macho saints - every last one of 'em.

I wish.

47 posted on 12/06/2004 9:36:02 AM PST by RosieCotton (He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative. - GKC)
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To: July 4th
Bump for now to see the bloodbath later.

Got any spare room in that foxhole? I brought popcorn...

48 posted on 12/06/2004 9:36:06 AM PST by Prime Choice (I like Democrats, too. Let's exchange recipes.)
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To: 80 Square Miles
Yes, why, just look at one of the more famous examples: Yoko Ono.

Do I HAFTA look? ;-)

49 posted on 12/06/2004 9:36:28 AM PST by RosieCotton (He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative. - GKC)
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To: RosieCotton
Meanwhile, American men are macho saints - every last one of 'em.

Yep. We're all manly men looking for girly girls! ;o)

50 posted on 12/06/2004 9:36:47 AM PST by Prime Choice (I like Democrats, too. Let's exchange recipes.)
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