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During the late 1980s, several local governments in northern Japan arranged marriages between Japanese men and foreign women mainly from other parts of Asia, including China, the Philippines and South Korea, in an effort to solve the shortage of brides in farming communities in depopulated areas.

While such efforts spread rapidly to other rural areas nationwide, the arranged marriages, especially those coordinated by government entities, were criticized as “human trade.” Today all the local governments involved have apparently withdrawn from such practices, at least officially.

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