Japan to stop labeling people unmarried at 50 as 'lifelong singles'
Japan Today -- May 24
The government will no longer use the term "lifelong singles" as a label for people who have not married by age 50, deeming the term inaccurate as Japanese are increasingly tying the knot later in life, officials said Thursday.

The label has been used in annual white papers and statistics on the grounds that the fertility rate of women falls significantly when they enter their 50s.

But its use, which is believed to have begun some 30 years ago, has been criticized due to it implying that marriage and parenthood are inextricably linked and because it suggests people do not marry after 50.

The government has already removed the descriptor from some white papers in response to the evolving definition of the family. However, the percentage of "lifelong singles" will continue to be included in demographic forecasts and other statistics as it serves as a key indicator, with the data categorized simply as referring to "people unmarried by 50," they said.

The data on the percentage of singles at age 50 is released by a health ministry research institute in conjunction with the national population census conducted every five years. The data does not include those who divorced or were made single by the death of a spouse.

In 1985, under 5 percent of men and women were classed as unmarried before 50, but the figure eclipsed 10 percent for men in 2000 and rose above 20 percent for men and 10 percent for women in 2010.

News source: Japan Today
Sep 19
The operator of a private-sector English proficiency test began accepting applications Wednesday for its tests that will serve as a component of Japan’s new standardized university entrance exam. (Japan Times)
Sep 19
Newly appointed Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Wednesday that Tokyo urgently demands Seoul eliminate “violations of international law” regarding wartime Korean labor issues, adding that it is a top priority for Japan in handling the bilateral relationship. (Japan Times)
Sep 18
Japan may be ready to host a "spectacular Rugby World Cup," but serious questions remained Tuesday as to what impact it will have on the nation, particularly with the Tokyo Olympics just a year away. (Kyodo)
Sep 18
The mother of Yua Funato was given an eight-year prison term by the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday for parental neglect that led to the death last year of her 5-year-old daughter. (Japan Times)
Sep 18
Japan's government is expected to nominate former vice finance minister Masatsugu Asakawa to head the Asian Development Bank. (NHK)
Sep 18
Toyota Motor Corp. rolled out a new model of the Corolla on Tuesday, making it the first fully redesigned sedan in about seven years. (Kyodo)
Sep 17
It's been a week since Typhoon Faxai hit Chiba prefecture near Tokyo. Recovery work has been slowed by another bout of heavy rain. (NHK)
Sep 17
A 116-year-old Japanese woman has been celebrated on Respect for the Aged Day in Japan. (NHK)
Sep 16
A Japanese government survey shows the number of people aged 65 or older, and their proportion to the overall population, have both marked record highs. (NHK)
Sep 15
A survey shows that Japan's public spending on education as a percentage of GDP was the lowest among OECD countries. (NHK)