In Japan: Retire, Get Divorced

 - Mar 1, 2006
An unprecedented rise in divorce rates in Japan is being blamed on "retired husband syndrome".

Many Japanese men spend decades being completely devoted to their careers. When it comes time to retire, husbands and wives discover they hardly know one another.

The real killer? Taking a long, celebratory vacation together, and suddenly spending more time together than they have in years.

Further exacerbating the problem is the long Japanese life expectancy; newly retired couples often realize they have another 20 or 30 years together when they don't even LIKE each other.

The number of divorces among couples married for at least 20 years doubled between 1985 and 2004. Divorces among those married at least 30 years quadrupled in the same period.

And it's only going to get worse: more Japanese men will retire in the next five years than at any other point in the country's history, as the post-WWII baby boom generation ages.