Japanese firm offers separate rooms to bickering couples amid lockdown
As more than half of humanity is under lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, families are spending more time with each other, irrespective of whether they like it. Similar friction arising from the coronavirus lockdown has given rise to a new phenomenon in Japan—"corona divorce"—as couples find it difficult to spend more time together. But, a Japanese firm hopes to provide a solution.
Tokyo firm offers 'temporary refuge' from spouses
According to Japan Times, Kasoku, a Tokyo-based firm providing short-term rental units, has started offering people a "temporary refuge" from their spouses. Kasoku operates 500 vacation rental units across Japan that can be booked via a dedicated website called "corona rikon" (corona divorce). The service helps couples find the space they need from each other as the lockdown forces them together 24x7.
#Coronarikon: Spouses vent frustration online
Amid the lockdown, people frustrated with their spouses have started venting on social media using the hashtag #coronarikon. "My husband's loud voice. The sounding of him coughing and eating. The television is on loudly all day. My husband snoring as he lays in the middle of the living room. I've put up with this for 10 days," one person tweeted, according to SCMP.
35% of marriages in Japan end in divorce
Others complained about their spouses not practicing good hygiene, wanting to report to offices instead of teleworking from home, not splitting chores at home, etc. Reportedly, 35% of marriages in Japan end in divorce.
Where did the idea come from?
The idea of offering people "temporary refuge" came from the first-hand experience of the Kasoku's president, company spokesperson Kosuke Amano said. "The goal is to avoid divorce," Amano said, "We hope couples first distance themselves and think about (their marriage). For our part, we will provide rooms that they can live in and an environment for teleworking."
Rental outlets can be booked on daily/monthly basis
Kasoku started its service on April 3 and has been offering rooms at a price of ¥4,400 per night (Rs. 3,100) and ¥90,000 per month (Rs. 64,000). Reportedly, the firm has received around 100 consultations and has booked over 20 people for month-long stays. The rental units are fully-furnished and come with WiFi. They are available in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, etc.
Kasoku also offers legal aid to couples
If the couple's issues cannot be resolved, Kasoku is offering legal services through its partnership with a venture firm called G-Tech Inc. Lawyer Eri Mizutani opined that the popularity of "corona divorce" may stem from "deep-seated" issues that become aggravated as couples spend more time together. Mizutani said their divorce consultations mostly have to do with more serious issues, such as domestic violence.
Psychiatrist warns against rushed divorces during pandemic
Rikkyo University professor and psychiatrist, Rika Kayama, told Japan Times, "What I often hear is the difference couples have in how they look and tackle the virus. While some wives take the issue as life-threatening, their husbands do not." She, however, urged people to hold off on filing for divorce until the pandemic settles, since making a huge decision right now can be tough.
Lifting of lockdown unlikely soon
Japan declared a nationwide state of emergency on April 16. However, the stay-at-home requests are unlikely to be withdrawn soon, Japan Times reported. Japan has recorded over 13,700 cases of COVID-19 with 394 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.Share this timeline