Japan Data

Matchmaking Apps Putting Marriage Agencies Out of Business in Japan


Bankruptcies among marriage agencies, which provide people with introductions to potential marriage partners, have reached a record high in Japan.

The research company Teikoku Databank announced that 11 marriage agencies went bankrupt in 2023, the highest number ever. A further record 11 either suspended their business or went into dissolution.

Bankruptcy, Suspension of Business, or Dissolution of Marriage Agencies

A survey conducted by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance in October 2023 revealed that out of the couples who had married within one year prior to the survey, 25%, or one in four, had used a dating app to meet. Asked about what had motivated them to use an app (multiple responses possible), 46.7% said it was both “because it was easy to meet someone” and “because I didn’t have the opportunity to meet someone at work,” indicating that it was the simplicity that was leading to more people using apps.

How did you meet your spouse? (Respondents who got married within a year)

Marriage agencies are actively holding face-to-face events, including online meetings and konkatsu parties, to try and win back users, but are being burdened by the costs for advertising such events. Admission and registration fees make price competition more likely too. Teikoku Databank’s analysis suggested that the continued run of bankruptcies is due to “having the same aim of introducing marriage partners and it being difficult to create differentiation between companies for various services.”

However, along with the sharp increase in app users, there have been many problems and mismatches occurring with profile photos. Marriage agencies are now reconsidering the konkatsu style they use so that the identity of members can be guaranteed and Teikoku Databank stated that “the future of marriage agencies will depend on how they can provide opportunities for encounters that fulfill the needs of users who are moving away from the apps and who are highly motivated to get married.”

(Originally published in Japanese. Banner image © Pixta.)