Married Japanese quietly contemplate divorce: survey

TOKYO Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:28am GMT

A glass is held before a toast at a ewdding in Shikaoi town in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido February 14, 2007. Almost 40 percent of Japanese married couples speak to each other less than 30 minutes a day, with more wives than husbands contemplating divorce, a recent survey revealed. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

A glass is held before a toast at a ewdding in Shikaoi town in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido February 14, 2007. Almost 40 percent of Japanese married couples speak to each other less than 30 minutes a day, with more wives than husbands contemplating divorce, a recent survey revealed.

Credit: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao

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TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Almost 40 percent of Japanese married couples speak to each other less than 30 minutes a day, with more wives than husbands contemplating divorce, a recent survey revealed.

The poll, which surveyed 1,200 married people and released last week by insurer Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co, showed that couples in their 40s spend the least time chatting -- almost 54 percent of husbands and wives in that age group spent less than half an hour per day talking with each other.

It also found that a third of the couples who talk for less than 30 minutes a day do not feel any love for their partner.

More Japanese wives have considered divorce than their husbands. The survey showed that nearly half the number of women surveyed had thought of divorcing their husband in the past, compared to a third of the men.

The key to avoiding divorce may lie in quitting smoking and being organized, according to the survey.

The survey said women complained of their husband smoking and drinking too much, while men lamented over their messy wives, pool cooking skills and changing body shape.

Domestic media had forecast an increase in the number of divorces in 2007 after a new law came into force in April allowing ex-wives to claim half their husband's pension. But Japan's divorce rate for the first half of 2007 was 2.1 divorces per 1,000 people, lower than the same period in 2006.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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