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Japan's 'Friendship Marriage' is a new relationship trend defying traditional norms

While legally married, these couples may or may not live together and may opt to have children through artificial insemination. 

News Arena Network - Tokyo - UPDATED: May 11, 2024, 02:38 AM - 3 mins read

Representative Image.

Japan's 'Friendship Marriage' is a new relationship trend defying traditional norms

Representative Image.


A rising number of young people in Japan are adopting a unique type of marriage known as "friendship marriage," which does not require sentiments of love or physical closeness. 

 

This trend, which affects around one percent of Japan's 124 million population, draws a wide spectrum of people, including asexuals, homosexuals, and heterosexuals dissatisfied with traditional marriage conventions. 

 

The report suggests that Chinese youngsters are now also choosing cohabitation based on similar values and interests over traditional marriage. 

 

Colorus, Japan's leading agency for friendship weddings, provided the numbers. Since its inception in March 2015, about 500 individuals have formed friendship marriage partnerships through the service, with some even beginning families together. 

 

Friendship marriage is distinguished by a living arrangement in which couples have shared interests and ideals rather than depending on traditional romantic love or perceiving each other exclusively as close friends. 

 

While legally married, these couples may or may not live together and may opt to have children through artificial insemination. 

 

Importantly, both spouses are free to pursue romantic connections with others, as long as they have mutual permission. 

 

As per the report, "Friendship marriage is like finding a flatmate with similar interests," said one individual who has been in a friendship marriage for three years. 

 

"I'm not cut out to be someone's girlfriend, but I can be a good friend." 

 

"I just wanted someone with similar tastes to do things we both enjoy, to chat and laugh with," said another individual who was quoted by the Chinese media outlet. 

 

According to accounts, this arrangement is not like marrying one's best friend. Instead, those participating in this setting spend time together to gain a better understanding of one another. 

 

Despite the absence of typical romantic features, Colorus reports that these talks contribute greatly to the satisfaction of nearly 80% of couples in this sort of relationship. 

 

Mostly, people in their 30s with above-average national income prefer this type of relationship. 

 

This concept is gaining popularity among asexuals and gays who want to shun traditional marital conventions. 

 

Furthermore, some gays, who are forced to conform to cultural standards and dislike traditional marital rituals or personal partnerships, are embracing this new trend.  

 

Despite the risk of divorce, these partnerships provide benefits such as access to policy benefits, companionship, and support to persons who feel alienated, are opposed to traditional marriage, or perceive themselves as society outcasts, states Colorus.

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