Tokyo takes on Tinder by developing its own dating app it hopes will arrest population decline

We're from the government and we want you to find love and procreate

The city of Tokyo plans to launch a dating app in coming months, in the hope it helps to address Japan’ declining population.

The app is one of several efforts outlined [PDF] by the city of Tokyo that “leverages specialized knowledge and know-how of private business operators” to provide “an AI matching system introducing people with a high probability of establishing a relationship based on values tests and more.”

The efforts are intended to help boost the country’s dwindling population and were announced a day before health ministry data revealed Japan’s birth rate had hit a new record low of 1.2 children per woman in 2023.

“If there are many individuals interested in marriage but unable to find a partner, we want to provide support,” reportedly stated an official.

“We hope that this app, with its association with the government, will provide a sense of security and encourage those who have been hesitant to use traditional apps to take the first step in their search for a partner.”

Eager to solve some problems inherent in those other dating apps, the fee-based platform will include screening of individuals to ensure members are actually single and marriage-minded.

Members will therefore be required to provide documentation and undergo interviews with the private firm operating the app.

The platform will even demand users to provide tax information to prove their income. Height, educational background and occupation will also be disclosed to potential partners.

“There's something about using a service where you know, more or less, the person you'll potentially go on a date with is exactly what the app says they are, including occupation and salary, that seems to be more successful,” commented one Reddit user who claimed to know people who have found life partners through similar government programs.

“Of course, it also means the chances of getting that first shot is a lot lower if you have a particularly undesirable job or background because you'll be filtered out real quick by the opposite sex,” the Redditor added.

The app is part of a marriage promotion scheme for which Tokyo’s government allocated 200 million yen (US$1.3 million) from its 2023 FY budget and 300 million yen (US$1.93 million) from its 2024 FY budget towards.

A 2021 study featured [PDF] in Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Measures to Combat the Declining Birthrate 2024 found that 70 percent of surveyed Tokyo resident expressed they intend to marry but 67.4 percent of residents were not actively looking for a partner. Another 14.5 percent were using dating apps.

Criticism has been levied that Japan could be doing more than just creating a dating app to encourage the population to expand. Over half of survey respondents (52.6 percent) claimed they weren’t having their desired number of kids because it costs too much to raise and educate them in the capital. To be fair, the city of Tokyo’s measures include budget for efforts like childcare, working parent career development, child tuition, and mentoring support.

The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research predicted [PDF] last year that Japan’s population will decline by 30 percent to 87 million by 2070, when 40 percent of its population will be over the age of 65.

The nation is already feeling the effects of a declining and aging population. The government has placed restrictions on overtime ,as those who are able to work are often overworked.

Although seen as necessary for safety, the cap on hours for drivers, doctors, construction workers and more is expected to complicate logistics, reduce delivery capacity and lead to price increases for some goods.

The nation is also turning more frequently to technology to solve population decline related problems. Japan's Toyama Prefecture recently launched an AI bear monitoring system and a consortium of Japanese entities pledged $100 million this week towards aerial telecommunication base stations that can enable teleservices in remote communities and provide Earth observation. The latter is important for notifying remote communities of emergencies and natural disasters. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like