Should local councils help us make friends? This is a question Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit, asks noting that social relationships make us happy, and happy communities are healthier and more connected.
As a Japan specialist this question interests me because many Japanese local communities have been funding matchmaking events in recent years. They have not done so simply because they want to make people happy and healthy.
According to the Japanese government, intimate relationships are a public concern because they are linked to the issue of the country’s declining birthrates since the 1990s. Local authorities are involved in matchmaking because they want to increase Japan’s birthrate.