For as many reasons as there are old people, the number of divorces among elderly Japanese couples who had been married for many years rose steeply during the 1990s. However, in the last several years the number has leveled off. Apparently, the stabilization of the divorce rate of seniors has little to do with marital circumstances and everything to do with economics.
The government recently said it is planning to revise the national pension laws to make it possible for a housewife to receive half her salaryman husband’s pension even if they get a divorce. At present, if a woman divorces her husband, she is only entitled to a basic pension of about 60,000 yen a month. The proposed law won’t go into effect for another three years, so these women are waiting until then before they leave their husbands.
The subject will be discussed on this week’s “Monday Entertainment” variety show (TV Tokyo, 8 p.m.), hosted by Monta Mino. Older women who are thinking about “dumping their men” will be interviewed about their married lives and their futures.
The women on “Monday Entertainment” want to escape their married lives, but according to the producers of the drama omnibus “Propose” (Nihon TV, Wednesday, 9 p.m.) the happiest words in the world are, “Will you marry me?”
In the first of three short dramas, a 22-year-old firefighter has fallen in love with a 35-year-old widow and mother. He is desperate to marry her, but she is against it, since her late husband was also a firefighter and he died in duty. She tells him she will only consider his proposal if he quits his job.
In the second segment, Yuko and Katsuhito have decided to divorce after 10 years of marriage. They go through a trial separation and live in different places. At first they feel relieved, but then each starts thinking about their honeymoon.
The last segment is about the president of a successful IT company who once had a serious crush on a classmate in college. He was interested in computers while she was interested in shopping and brands. Now that he is rich and can buy anything, he tracks his classmate down to her hometown to propose to her, and is shocked by the change she has undergone.
This week, NHK’s travel show, “Romantic Expedition” (NHK-G, Thursday, 8 p.m.) goes to Mount Ruhengeri in Rwanda, which because of its geographical position and height, contains many different types of plant and animal life. At the foot of the Equatorial mountain is a tropical jungle, while the middle portion is home to many high-altitude vegetation. The summit of the mountain is actually covered by a glacier. A film crew climbs the mountain under extremely harsh conditions.