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Compared with other developed countries, the rate of divorce in Japan is still very low. Among 1,000 people, 20 (2%) are divorced, according to a study conducted by the Ministry of Labor and Welfare, Statistics and Information Division in 2000. The rate has been slowly increasing—in 1997 it was 1.78 percent, and in 1998 it was 1.94 percent. The divorce rate is higher in urban areas such as Osaka, Japan's second largest city, which had a 2.42 percent divorce rate in 1998. The divorce rate increased up to 4.6 times from 1965 to 1995.

Divorce is not a serious stigma among young people. But in general, especially in when a divorced couple lives in a local area with close neighborhood relations, divorce is viewed as detrimental to the family and a tragedy for children. The discriminatory attitude is often seen in communities and in schools. Divorced mothers find it hard to support themselves. Middle-aged divorced women have problems finding stable jobs. Single fathers find that the childcare role and housekeeping chores that they have to assume are heavy burdens.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsJapan - Mating And Marriage, Gender Roles, Masculinity And Men's Suicide, Decreasing Number Of Children - Leave for Working Parents, Conclusion