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But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to bring more women into the workforce are falling short.
Challenging traditional gender roles can be an extremely unpopular move in Japan, where many people still support the idea that a woman's place is at home.
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That's led to taxpayer-financed dating services in places like Ishioka, a town about an hour outside Tokyo.
"When you think about how to prevent a decreasing population, nothing starts without marriage," said Kazuhiko Suzuki, an Ishioka city official.
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Setsuya Fukuda, a demographer at the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, points to the Netherlands and the U. But as Japanese officials can attest, getting people to couple up is no easy matter.
Nearly all local governments in the country are trying to play matchmaker these days.
Many of them "strongly believe that encouraging women to work reduces the birth rate, and leads to more divorce," said Machiko Osawa, a labor economist at Japan Women's University, who has long championed women's rights.