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Big data used to support marriage hunting in Japan
February 12, 2016 Blog big data

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 Regional local governments are increasingly utilizing big data, or huge sets of diverse digital information, to support matchmaking services, with some aiming to stem the exodus of young people to cities.

Under one system, the Ehime Prefecture Government has compiled information on participants taking part in marriage-hunting events hosted by the Ehime Marriage Support Center as well as members of its other matchmaking services.

Using the data, the system then produces spouse candidates for members via the center’s computers.

Started in March 2015, it is designed to increase the chances of speed-dating meetings.

“The system helps people find possible partners who can’t be found based on individual preferences,” an official at the Ehime Prefectural Government said.

The Tottori Prefectural Government also opened marriage-hunting support centers in the cities of Tottori and Yonago recently.

Using a similar data system, the prefecture hopes that 1,000 people will register by fiscal 2019 and that 80 couples will marry.

The prefecture plans to accumulate more information about single people eager to get married for its big data system. Registration will be free until the end of March 2016.

The governments of Toyama and Yamanashi prefectures introduced their matchmaking systems a year ago, although they are not based on big data.

The number of members of the program in Yamanashi stood at about 700 as of early December, against its target of 600. Some 200 couples have dated, and five of them got married.

Toyama’s matchmaking system had 616 people as of the end of November, surpassing its target.

Meanwhile, the Kochi Prefectural Government is set to launch a matchmaking program in April that will require a ¥10,000 registration fee and ¥2,000 for each speed-dating meeting, which is lower than fees charged by private-sector agencies.