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Tokyo government to release official dating app

Dating can be hard in this day and age with hurdles such as global pandemics and sold-out marriage vending machines. That’s why more and more people are turning to the convenience of dating apps to meet others in the hope of making a romantic connection.

However, these services themselves can be full of pitfalls such as misleading profiles and straight-up fraud. But now the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is here to help by releasing their own dating app with the security that only the world’s biggest bureaucracy can provide.

▼ In this building romance is done by the book

Photo: Pakutaso

The app is aimed at those 18 and up who are living, working, or studying in Tokyo. It is also said to utilize AI to find suitable pairings of users based on their personal info and a questionnaire, much like other dating apps.

What sets this app apart is the government-backed vetting process which requires users to prove their marital status and income, as well as take part in an online interview to confirm their identity. While people might be reluctant to provide personal info such as proof of income to a private company, submitting such things to the government is nothing new.

The basic system for this app has been in place since last December in a limited trial using a browser version and government employees and people who took part in government matchmaking events. Their feedback will be used to make improvements to the service moving forwards. It also appears that the browser version is open for anyone on the Tokyo Futari Story website to register while the app is still awaiting release.

And speaking of feedback, online reaction to the news has been lukewarm, with many pointing out that the government is once again trying to deal with the declining birthrate without tackling the obvious underlying causes such as economic stability and less demanding work schedules.

“Is Tokyo tax money going towards this? If this is meant to tackle late marriage and declining birthrates, then even a layman like myself thinks other things need to be done… But maybe I’m wrong and a dating app is the last resort?”

“This is pretty laughable, but if they want to be taken seriously, they should emphasize the fact that marital status, number of dependents, and income are all true.”

“This is just like Psycho-Pass.”

“I don’t know how this matchmaking works, but the government should probably stay out of weird stuff like this.”

“I tried to sign up for the browser version, but they required a studio photo so I never bothered.”

“Times are changing…”

“Older people might use this but they won’t help the birthrate and this is too much hassle for younger people.”

“Tokyo loves spending money on things that will never work.”

A dating app with a certain degree of trust could be an attractive option for many single people. We’ll just have to wait and see when it comes out later this year, pending approval from app distributors.

Sources: Tokyo Futari Story, Jiji.com, Hachima Kiko

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