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83% of women in Japan don't want to give 'obligatory' chocolates on Valentine's Day: poll

A chocolate shop is seen in Yokohama's Nishi Ward on Feb. 12, 2022. (Mainichi/Mami Miyajima)

TOKYO -- Over 80% of women in Japan do not want to give obligatory chocolates to their work colleagues on Valentine's Day, a recent survey revealed.

    With the coronavirus pandemic and changes in society, the widespread practice of "giri choko" (obligatory chocolates) in the country seems to be disappearing. The research firm Intage Inc. conducted an online survey of 2,633 men and women aged 15 to 79 nationwide in January. According to the results, only 8.2% of a total of 1,325 women that responded said they will "give giri choco."

    When those currently employed were asked what they thought of the obligatory chocolates at their workplace, the majority of women, 82.8%, answered that they did not want to give them to their colleagues. By age group, from 20s to 70s, the percentage of "don't want to give" was 75.4% in the lowest age group, those in their 20s, while the percentage was around 80 to 90% for the other age groups.

    Hiromasa Tanaka, director of the company's consumer research center, who was in charge of the survey, analyzed the reasons for not giving obligation chocolates, "It is believed that the coronavirus pandemic has led people to rethink how they relate to others, and as a result, they have either stopped giving giri choko as a ritual, or have reasons to do so as they have fewer opportunities to come to the office in the first place."

    Meanwhile, a majority of male respondents, or 61.4%, answered that they were "not happy" to receive giri choko, with those in their 40s accounting for the highest percentage, at over 70%.

    However, the trend changed for men in their 20s, with the majority of respondents saying they were glad to receive them. The most common reasons given were "to get to know people at work better," "to enjoy it as an event," and "to be able to eat chocolate and sweets that I would not normally buy myself."

    (Japanese original by Yuki Machino, Business News Department)

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