Monday, November 26, 2007

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish


Sherman Oaks, California

A Japanese law allowing a divorcing wife to claim up to 50% of her husband’s pension went into effect in April, causing an immediate 6.1% increase in divorce filings, Blaine Harden of the Washington Post reports. More divorces are expected, and about 95% of the divorces have been initiated by the wives.

The article stereotypically blames the husbands for working long hours and being emotionally distant from their families. But the article fails to mention the many benefits the women received throughout the marriage.

A salaryman’s dawn-to-midnight workdays paid for a home in one the world’s most expensive countries, a home the wife presumably enjoyed throughout the decades of marriage. The wife was able to have and raise – on the husband’s earnings – the children she wanted. She enjoyed the status of being a wife and homemaker in a traditional society which to this day clucks with some disapproval at single career women.

These wives knew what they were getting into when they married; the salaryman lifestyle is no secret. These women received 100% of the benefit of their bargain. But now they are turning around and divorcing the men who kept them in house and home for thirty to forty years and taking up to half their pensions as well.

The article mentions in passing that young Japanese women are remaining unmarried in ever-larger numbers.

But the obverse is true as well. Young Japanese men are refusing to marry.

Can you blame them?

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worry that the homicide rate in Japan will rise at an equal pace to their new-and-improved divorce rate. I suspect that a number of jilted salrymen will balk at the notion of their wives dumping them and absconding with 1/2 of their pension...

9:26 AM  

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