Posted on December 7, 2004

What Japanese Women Want: A Western Husband

Bennett Richardson, Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 7

TOKYO — The Japanese government wants women like Taeko Mizuguchi to get married and start doing something about the nation’s plunging birthrate. But she’s not interested.

At least, not if her prospective husband is Japanese.

A growing number of Japanese women are giving up on their male counterparts, and taking a gamble that looking abroad for love will bring them the qualities in a partner that seem rare at home. Mr. Right, as the hope goes, is often an American or European, a man appreciative of a wife’s career and more of a partner in daily tasks.

“They treat you like equals, and they don’t hesitate to express mutual feelings of respect — I think Western men are more adept [at such things] than Japanese men,” says the 36-year-old Ms. Mizuguchi, who works at a top trading firm. “They don’t act like women are maids — I think they view women as individuals.”


Mixed marriages in Japan

Japanese men marry:

Chinese 10,242

Filipinos 7,794

Koreans 2,235

Americans 156

British 65

Japanese women marry:

Koreans 5,318

Americans 1,529

Chinese 890

British 334

Filipinos 117