Japanese men Like Chinese women, Japanese women Like American men
Research project: International marriage

A table of contents
1. Introduction
2. The present condition of international marriage in Japan
3. The total number of international marriage
4. About Japanese men
5. About Japanese women
6. Place to live
7. The good points and the weak points for international marriage
8. Conclusion
・Reference list
・Thank you again
・Special Thanks

1. Introduction
International marriage is growing in the world nowadays, and also in Japan. It means that a marriage between people from two different countries in Japanese, and it is also called ‘intercultural marriage’ or ‘interracial marriage’ in English-speaking countries. The reason why I chose this topic is that I was impressed by an interesting news report on TV which also was printed in Yomiuri Newspaper in June, 2006. I think that if people from two different countries marry, they have a great opportunity to learn their different cultures or backgrounds, and they would be able to broaden their horizons through learning cultural things. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why so many Japanese women are inclined to have beautiful dreams of international marriage.
On the other hand, it seems that international couples have several cultural problems unlike couples who are from the same country. Although most couples will start to live together after marrying, living with another person is not so easy perhaps even if she/he is your partner and from your own country.  The fact is that divorces for Japanese couples are increasing in our country nowadays. Living together might be even harder if couples have different cultures or backgrounds.
I researched about international marriage this time through a newspaper, books, websites, my survey on survey monkey website and a discussion with my private friends. My goal was to find out about the present condition of international marriage and to gather opinions from people around the world about it. Below is the result of my research.

2. The present condition of international marriage in Japan
According to the lead story in Yomiuri News Paper in June, 2006, (based on the investigation by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 2005) Japanese people reached the highest percentage of international marriage in the world last year – 85 percent were marriages between Japanese and a foreigner of the total number of international married couples in the world. Further, 95 percent of Japanese people who married foreigners last year were living in Tokyo. It supposes there is more possibility for Japanese people who are living in Tokyo to meet foreigners. Of the total number of marriage percentage in Japan last year approximately 5 percent were international marriages. This proportion is approximately ten times that of twenty years ago. This result shows us that international marriage is increasing in Japan suddenly.

3. The total number of international marriage
According to Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 2005, there are 27,881 couples consisting of a Japanese man and a foreign-born woman who are living in Japan at present. On the other hand, couples consisting of a Japanese woman and a foreign-born man who are living in Japan are 8,158. (This study targeted only couples living in Japan.) The difference between the former and the latter is approximately three times. This means that more Japanese men married foreigners than Japanese women.

4. About Japanese men
More than half the international couples in Japan last year were marriages between a Japanese man and a foreign woman. (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 2005) Japanese-Chinese couples were the largest in number (38 percent) of the total number of international married couples involving Japanese men. The next largest groups were Japanese-Singaporean couples (26 percent) and Japanese-Korean couples (18 percent). Those Asian couples occupy 82 percent of the total number of international married couples involving Japanese people who married foreigners last year. One of the reasons why so many Asian couples are living in Japan is that a large number of Asian women are coming to Japan nowadays. Most Asian women are studying the Japanese language or other technical knowledge at universities in Japan to have good careers or positions. Some are also working in Japan as workers in offices or factories, as dancers in downtown or as the staff in sightseeing areas to earn money and send remittances to their families because Japan is one of the high-paying countries in Asia. What is more, many Japanese corporations are making their factories or branches in other Asian countries and sending their employees there nowadays, so Japanese men have many opportunities than Japanese women to meet people living in those countries.


5. About Japanese women
In Japanese women’s case, they are inclined to meet their partners in countries where they went to study languages, work, or travel. Japanese-American couples were the largest in number (24 percent) of the total number of international married couples involving Japanese women last year. (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 2005) The next largest groups were Japanese-Chinese couples (14 percent) and Japanese-Korean couples (10 percent). Couples consisting of a Japanese wife and an American husband were 17.4 percent of the total number of international married couples involving Japanese people last year; couples consisting of a Japanese husband and an American wife, on the contrary, were just 0.6 percent. One of the speculative reasons for this result is that Japanese women seem to have more opportunities than Japanese men to go to the United States of America or to meet American people in their lives.


6. Place to live
Most Japanese women who have married foreigners are living not in Japan but in their partners’ home countries. On the other hand, most Japanese men who have married foreigners are staying in Japan after marrying. It seems that most married women are inclined to follow their partners and live in countries where their partners had been working before marrying.

7. The good points and the weak points for international marriage
What kind of good points and weak points does international marriage have? I asked three questions about international marriage. 1. Would you consider it for yourself? 2. Do you care about your children’s nationalities if you married with a foreigner? 3. Is international marriage growing in your country in recent years? 21 people who are from several countries answered my questions as follows.
First, this is the result of my survey based on survey monkey website, and ten people completed it. Six of them answered ‘Yes’ to the first question. They say that they do not care which countries their partners are from if they loved their partners. In addition, two of them who answered ‘Yes’ to the question have boyfriends from different countries than their own now. On the other hand, three in ten answered ‘No’ to it. They say that cultural differences might become big problems for marriage.
However six in ten answered ‘No’ to the second question and having two nationalities was good for their children in this international society, three in ten answered ‘Yes’ to it. One of them who answered ‘No’ to the question has two nationalities actually, and she wants her children to have two nationalities like her because she thinks that having two nationalities is good to live in the two countries. Meanwhile, the reason why three people answered ‘Yes’ to the question is that they want their children to have only the same nationalities as them – it means one nationality – because they emphasize that their children will inherit their parents’ nationality and culture.
Eight in ten answered ‘Yes’ to the third question however, two French people answered ‘No’ to the question. People who answered ‘Yes’ were seven Asians and one German. Based on this result, it appears that international marriage is growing mainly in Asian countries.
Second, this is the result of my survey for my eleven private friends. Seven of them answered ‘Yes’ to the first question. They say that there is necessity for adapting their old-fashioned thoughts to this global world, so international marriage is one of good ways for them to learn other cultures and customs. On the other hand, four in eleven answered ‘No’ to the question. They say that international married couples would have more problems than couples who are from the same country because of the gap of two different cultures even if the husband and the wife love each other. Also, people who answered ‘No’ think that several cultural problems might become a great divide in married life.
Seven in eleven answered ‘No’ to the second question and having two nationalities was good for their children in this international world, however four of them answered ‘Yes’ to the question. Two of them who answered that they were concerned about this problem have two nationalities actually, and they have been bullied at school and they were very confused about their nationalities. For these reasons, they do not want their children to have the same unhappy experiences. Other two of them are concerned about this problem because they want their children to have only the same nationalities as them – it means one nationality – because they want to leave their cultures behind them.
Although three in eleven answered ‘No’ to the third question, eight of them answered ’Yes’ to it. This shows us that this global society is surely expanding nowadays.

Thank you’s number one: people who completed my survey on survey monkey website

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Thank you’s number two: my private friends who answered my questions


8. Conclusion
There are a lot of different types of international married couples in the world nowadays. However I learned about the present condition of international marriage through this project this time, the result which I researched supposes just a part of the truth of international marriage. Living two others together is not so easy even they are a couple or friends, so marrying is also might not be easy even if your partner is from your own nationality. Also, however international married couples might have more cultural problems than couples who are from the same country, international married couples would have more chemical reactions because they will have more opportunities than couples who are from the same country to touch different cultures and backgrounds from their partners. International marriage will be one of good ways for us to adapt to this global society nowadays. Although I am just twenty years old, single and I do not have the knowledge of international problems sufficiently, I really hope that people around the world will get over these problems with human love and make a wonderful world together.

Reference List
・’Hundred international married couples’ by Hiroko Saito, Atsumi Nemoto, Akaishi Bookstore (1998/8/25)
・Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the main statistics of the 2006’s population movement http://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/saikin/hw/jinkou/suii04/marr2.html (2006/9/28)
・‘The guidebook for International Marriage – the second edition’ by Kazumi Moriki, Akaishi Bookstore (2006/2/15)
・‘Tom Tanabe’s Magpie’ by Tom Tanabe http://www.grandeegranite.com/marriage_01.htm (2006/9/14)
・The Yomiuri Newspaper, the lead story (2006/6)
・Wikipedia http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/ (2006/9/19)

Thank you again: Anteny, Brett, D, Kris, Laura, Lin, Nick, Steve, Terry, Theresa, Trish and all of you who completed my survey and answered my questions!

Special Thanks: Ms. Cynthia J. Edwards
I really appreciate you helping me and I regret that I hardly talked to you about my graduation thesis. When I heard from you that some of your students researched about the same theme as me ever and one of them focused on married lives for teachers at Musashi, I thought it was a good choice to gather information about not only international marriage but also many types of marriages easily and it was also a specific topic. I would like to continue researching about international marriage on my own, so I would like you to help and advise me then. Thank you so much for everything anyway!