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Society

Coronavirus outbreak puts Japan's singles in mood for matrimony

Dating agencies seize chance as online engagement shows higher success rate

TOKYO -- With stay-at-home orders in effect to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, many singles in Japan are reassessing the importance of marriage and family, even as they maintain social distance.

Tokyo-based marriage agency Sunmarie says inquiries about its services and memberships are up about 20% in April from the same month a year ago. The company began offering 40-minute, free online consultations the day after the government declared a state of emergency in seven prefectures on April 7.

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