05 Jul '11, 8am

Japanese say 'I do not' with divorce ceremonies

Japanese say 'I do not' with divorce ceremonies

TOKYO : The smartly-dressed Japanese husband and wife stand side-by-side, surrounded by close friends, in front of a clergyman-like figure. He asks them to smash their wedding rings with a hammer. Hiroki Terai is a self-styled "divorce planner" who conducts solemn ceremonies during which he invites couples to show their disaffection for one another before they -- in most cases -- walk away smiling. "I don't think the concept of divorce is a negative thing," said Terai. "Instead of spending a lifetime bickering, it is much better to wrap up the relationship and restart separately." The nation's divorce rate has steadily climbed since the 1960s, from an average of 70,000 couples terminating their marriage each year to nearly four times that amount with some 253,000 couples separating in 2009. Terai said that with less pressure over marital status and family relations in Japa...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/lifestylenews/view...

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