Academic journal article International Journal of Management

Development of Family Friendly Work Policies in Japan: The Role of Relationships Organizers

Academic journal article International Journal of Management

Development of Family Friendly Work Policies in Japan: The Role of Relationships Organizers

Article excerpt

The tendency of late marriage currently seen in many of advanced nations abo permeated Japan, and has also caused the problem of a decrease in the birthrate simultaneously. Then, it is necessary to begin to take the positive measures against a tendency of late marriage. In this paper, the actual situation of a "party organizer" (the "organizer") was analyzed with participant observation by focusing on how the organizer as a friend and resource to support interpersonal relationship in romance is involved in the establishment of marriage or of such "romantic relationship" as the preliminary step with the circumstances that social interests increase for singles and those late to marry. The organizer is a person who supports matchmaking for the opposite gender through friends, etc. and holds a party at a high-rise apartment or night club in a city for the purpose of matchmaking. The market size estimate was not far behind the actual market size, etc. of marriage counseling services and marriage information services. A unique matching system for organizers is also being developed, including community formation among organizers to respond to the various needs of party users. However, inadequacy of this new matching system has been pointed out including constant issues with management associations and apartment residents. In addition, since the attitude towards searching partners on the premise of a free (romance-based marriage) market is still immature in Japan, many people are not suitable for this matching system. The trend of singles and those late to marry progressed along with a weakened matching system in the corporate world as well as with the decline of arranged marriages, which is difficult to avoid with only this private network among individuals, and cooperation, etc. with stagnating marriage counseling services and marriage information services is expected.

Introduction

Purpose and composition of the paper

Singlehood/late marriage is believed to be one of the factors of the low birthrate in recent years, and there are many studies in this area. "Dating" is essential as a stage prior to marriage, while many unmarried men and women tend to not even reach such a dating relationship. Approximately 90% of unmarried people desire to get married, and nearly half of them point out that "they don't meet suitable partners" as a reason to remain single. Chances to meet a spouse often comes from friends, and according to Sato and Nakamura (2007), people with more "resources to support interpersonal relationships in love affairs" (people who support meeting new people and relationships) currently tend to be in a relationship, and "love affairs" or "marriage" could become more feasible by supplying resources to support interpersonal relationships in love affairs. Therefore, it was decided to consider "party organizers" as resources to support interpersonal relationships in love affairs through friends. A "party organizer" (the "organizer") is a new word invented by people in the marriage-related industry, indicating a person who utilizes his/her leisure time to support meetings with persons of the opposite sex through friends, etc. An increase of executive apartment complexes is a backdrop for the dramatic increase of organizers in the metropolitan area. As observed in executive apartment complexes around Roppongi, troubles have been frequently occurring with residents, management companies of apartment complexes, and management associations due to noise and violations of public morals resulting from exchange (dating) parties. Furthermore, a long-established large company in the marriage-related industry submitted a demanding paper to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare last year to request regulations on organizers, claiming that they would lose their existing profits. However, as the way of love affairs and partnership changes, existing types of meetings do not always lead to "love affairs" or "marriage." As a "decrease of meeting opportunities" has been suggested nowadays, there is sufficient room for organizers to take a role in introducing people of the opposite sex in a new form. …

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