Major Causes Of Divorce: Japan Gaining on USA and Canada 2005 - 2020
America vs. Japan 2000 - 2012
Divorce Rates in the 21st Century
By December 2012, the difference in divorce rates between the USA and Japan was the difference between 3.4 to 1.99, or only 1.41 per 1,000 population.
The rate decreased faster in America than it increased in Japan. One theory is that the Great Recession of 2008 - 2010 forced couples to stay together in order to survive financially. However, the American decrease began back in 1990 (see graph below).
The Japanese rate began rising in 1988, as young working adult women began to decide to put off marriage to somewhat later years, if at all, revolting against tradition.
Japan experiences a continually declining birth rate, an increasing elderly population, and one of the lowest fertility rates globally.
Japan's four types of official divorce include
1) Divorce by agreement (kyogi rikon)
2) Divorce by mediation in a family court (chotei rikon).
3) Divorce by decision of the family court (shimpan rikon)
4) Divorce by judgment of a district court (saiban rikon)— http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-7117.html
Divorce Rates 2000 - 2009
The US has continued to decrease and Japan has continued to increase:
- USA = 3.4 per 1000, reduced from 4.5
- JAPAN = 2.1 per 1000, increased from 1.9
The divorce rate in America began to rise again with economic recovery after the Great Recession of 2008 - 2010.
Divorce Rates of 2015
United States: 3.6 per 1,000
Japan: 1.84 per 1,000
American and Japanese Divorce Rates, 2002
21st Century Changes
Reference: January 1, 2011. AP News Service; Japan People 2011, CIA World Factbook.
Japanese Baby Boomers are retiring, leaving fewer taxpayers to replace them. Japan reports some of the highest life expectancies globally, but low birth rates. There were 1.19 million deaths in 2010, the most since 1947 when the records started. Japan is almost at Zero Population growth. In fact, in 2010, deaths outnumbered births by over 1.0 per 1,000 people.
JULY 2010: Population estimate/extrapolation = 126,804,433; 10th largest country population in the world.
- In 2010, Japan reduced by 123,000 people, losing population numbers also in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 to cancer, heart disease, stroke, and others. The divorce rate already doubled from 1990 - 2000 as well.
- Age 65+ = 25% of Japan's population in December 2010. Younger people are putting off marriage and children. [My note: Author: In fact, young women in 1980s' Japan began to rebel against marriage and children, a trend that has extended 30 years. Japan is becoming a kind of nation of Senior Citizens.]
- The year 2010 showed 706,000 recorded marriages, the lowest figure since 1954. Unwed pregnancies are an insignificant number, so fewer marriages = fewer children = fewer Japanese.
Japan’s Women Told to Breed, Not Lead
- Japan’s Women Told to Breed, Not Lead -
Sexist remarks made by male members of congress, Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, to a female member during her presentation about raising children in Japan -- The men said: “Hey, you should hurry up and get married!” and “Can’t you have babies?”
Divorce Ceremonies Increase in Japan
- Radio Australia:Connect Asia:Story:Divorce ceremonies take off in Japan
With a sky-rocketing divorce rate, the Japanese have come up with a unique solution to the delicate issue
Divorce Statistics in the World
The above graph shows that American divorces decreased toward 2002, while Japanese divorces increased. Will they meet in the middle around 2010? -- Not quite, but the gap is narrowing and in 2007 was only a difference of 2.3 divorces per 1,000 population. So many divorces occur in Japan that Divorce Ceremonies are offered, beginning in 2010.
In order for a marriage relationship to succeed, I believe that there must be a foundation upon which partners build a relationship. They do this over time with experiences that add something to the foundation rather than to destroy it. These experiences should not be a temporary tap dance across a foundation that is used as a steppingstone to other people and other tap dances.
A marriage foundation, in my mind, includes one or both of these:
- A common set of core values between the partners, or at least several shared values; or,
- A set of interests and passions that can join the partners together long term.
In my experience as a counselor and therapist, the largest two causes of divorce among the people I have seen have been:
- 1) A lack of foundation in the marriage - common ground, similar life missions and visions, etc.; and
- 2) Abuse, including any of verbal, emotional, physical, economic, religious, and sexual abuses.
What is Marriage?
In 18th and 19th century America, well into the 20th century, people did not often marry for love or faith-based foundations or mutual interests, or love. They married to join good families, to produce heirs, and to have children to work on the family farm. I believe they often married fro survival, especially among the pioneers blazing trails to California, Washington State and Oregon.
To be sure, some people married for love, and some arranged or survival marriages saw the partners come to love each other or even to fall in love. However, this may not have been the usual pattern. Survival and the drive to reproduce are extremely strong; otherwise, the human race would become extinct.
As women began entering the professionals, obtaining the right to vote, etc., they expanded their mental horizons, some deciding that they could live without dependence upon a husband or father as a breadwinner. During World War II, American women went to work in the jobs men had left behind when they entered the armed services. After WWII, some women did not want to return to the roles of homemaker and/or mother. This may be one of the reasons that there were so many educational films made in the 1950s that encouraged young women to accept the role of homemaker and to follow etiquette of service to a husband.
However, there has never been a good answer offered to me as to what a woman that has no family at all should do. Some professionals have told me that such a woman should go work for a church, even unpaid. The question is then, how is the woman to support herself without an income or family, if she is working 40 hours per week for no pay and is ineligible for public assistance? There has been no answer to that.
Today, there are many women living alone in an American society that has become more fragmented since the 1960s. Women can earn a living and support themselves without entering domestic jobs (maid, nanny, etc.), living alone and dependent on no one else. Men can live alone and be happy dating, eating out, and sending their clothes to the cleaner, employing maid services, etc. Marriage becomes more of a choice, instead a matter of survival in today's America, although some individuals of both genders marry in order to survive or for convenience. Note how many married people say they are staying together for the sake of the children.
From the people I see, I am struck by the phenomenon that relationships are not only a matter of choice (which is good in my opinion), but even a form of entertainment (not so good) these days, rather than either 1) survival/convenience or 2) love.
I hear many people saying they married because they wanted to be with the other person. I don't think that is enough for a marriage. Some of these individuals become bored with their partners, but are also offended if another person wants their spouse, or their spouse forms a romantic relationship with someone else. This causes me to think that the marriages were more about ownership and self-importance than about a healthy relationship. This is unfortunately reinforced by TV shows in which you see two women fighting over a man or two men fighting over a woman, or rivals fighting over a gay or lesbian partner.
These days, more people have the opportunity to openly define their own marriage and partner relationships than in the past centuries. I think they need to have some agreed-upon commonalities in order for these relationships to succeed. There is a movement toward establishing the 3- or 5-year marriage contract and it will be interesting to see where it goes. Science fiction has shown us future Americas in which no marries or in which marriage is by short-term contract. Science fiction can become fact. I would prefer a life-long marriage built on love and a faith-based foundation, but other people want other things. Many of these could be successful, but I think there needs to be some sort of commonality and agreement between the partners entering marriages.
2004 Report: Rutgers University
Why Do We Divorce?
Popular Opinion About Divorce
Other opinions of the causes of divorce in the USA:
♣ Top 4 Opinions From eHarmony:
"Unwillingness to communicate lovingly"
To me, this means that verbal abuse is present -- It means that the partners should plan and develop their life together in a positive way. An unwillingness even to communicate in a finctional, non-abusive manner is a big red flag for serious problems, because many forms of abuse begin with VERBAL ABUSE.
"Unwillingness to commit"
eHarmony says this is the acceptance of the marriage vows as life-long and permanent, except in cases of infidelity and abuse. In my experience, many people can forgive infidelity and move on. However, abuse is the deal breaker. Few abusers change for the good.
"Unwillingness to compromise"
Compromise is hard. I think the couple should agree on major life components before marriage: finances, children, etc.
I knew one family in which the wife stopped using birth control without the husband's and became pregnant purposely. What resulted over the next 10 year was that horrible abuse to the younger son could no longer be concealed when he abused the younger sibling under the abuse of the mom. I had nightmares about this one.
"Unwillingness to put down weapons"
Some partners try to hurt the other partner in order to raise themselves up. This is not a marriage, but it is selfish and it is abuse. Partners need to fight fairly and move on after the fight and not dig it up again.
♣ Opinions From "Americans for Divorce Reform":
These reasons are often heard from couples, but they are not proven statistically significant as yet. There are some similarities to those gathered by eHarmony.
- Poor Communication
- Lack of Commitment
- Change in Priorities
- Failed Expectations
- Physical, Sexual, Emotional and other Abuse
- Lack of Conflict Resolution Skills
The relationship between a number of factors (religion, occupation, age, etc.) and discover can be found on their website at http://www.divorcereform.org/
The Role of Abuse
Escalating Abuse In America
Abuse is a scourge in America. Increasing numbers of men and women are admitting that their partners are abusing them, often extremely, and seeking help.
No form of abuse is ever appropriate. It is never the victim's fault, although targets need to learn about abuse and actively avoid people that show red flags of it. Recognizing abuse should be taught to all children beginning in elementary school.
Abuse often does not show itself until after a marriage has occurred, because the abusing person was on good behavior in order to lure a target into a more permanent relationship. From this relationship, the abuser exerts control in order to feel better about himself or herself.
Abusers are sometimes diagnosed psychiatric disorders and many of these labels overlap. Some victims become addicted to discussing these psychiatric disorders, staying with the abuser and discussing symptoms with all who will listen. Co-Occurring Disorders (substance or alcohol abuse combined with at least one other major disorder) are common and a target of abuse cannot cure the abuser of them. In fact, some targets die of abuse.
As increasing numbers of individuals are educated about our national public health problem of abuse, then abuse may become listed among the top five reasons for divorce in America.
The Cycle of Abuse.
Related Physical and Mental Health Data
- The Bully, Emotions and Abuse: Are Humans Naturally Violent?
The concept of "fight-or-flight" offers some interesting and effective alternatives to running and fisticuffs. We can stand up to bullying without fighting.
- How and Where to Get Help for Domestic Abuse and Violence
This is a listing of reliable places and Hotline numbers in the USA and UK to call when you need help to escape domestic violence, abuse, and related situations.
- How to Escape an Abusive Relationship.
Have you seen red flags? -- Do know someone that is being abused? Are you being abused? Abuse is about CONTROL - verbally, physically, sexually, emotionally, financially, spiritually... Find out more...
More by this Author
Columbus Ohio was designated a Top 7 Smart City via the Intelligent Communities firm data in 2013, Number One in 2015. It's a sustainable Smarter City (2010), and Number One High Tech City (2010s).
Even though the carved cedar pole and potlatch were illegal for many years until 1951, their meanings in a cultural context were never lost. The lineage of the Master Carvers preserved them.
After much hard work in writing countless resumes, cover letters, and job applications, employment candidates hope to interview well, impress the hiring officer, and secure the job. We can help with the information in...