What is the divorce rate?
Vital Statistics compiled by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare show that in 2002 the number of divorces was about 290,000 compared to 757,000 marriages.The average duration of marriage for the divorced couples was 9.9 years.
The number of divorces has increased greatly, and the trend gave birth to new words. such as batsu-ichi ("one-time cross mark"), Narita rikon (Narita divorce), and jukunen rikon (mature-age divorce).
Batsu-ichi refers to people who have divorced once, but It does not have much of a derogatory connotation.
Some women openly admit they are batsu-ichi.
Narita rikon means to divorce immediately after the couple have returned from their honeymoon.
Many Japanese couples choose foreign countries as their honeymoon destination, but some of them find their feelings have cooled during the trip and decide to divorce by the time they arrive back at Narita Airport.
The word jukunen rikon is used when a couple who have been married for many years seek a divorce.
Some cases of jukunen rikon involve wives who want to be liberated after enduring the marriage and devoting their lives to their husbands for a long time.
Many such wives express their wish for divorce taking advantage of their husbands' retirement.