With divorce on the rise, more Japanese taking to ‘prenups’ as they prepare to wed

The prenuptial agreement, an age-old practice fairly common in many Western countries, is gaining a foothold in Japan as more and more people insist on drawing one up to ensure they will be protected if their marriage ends badly.

In Japan, formalizing the do’s and don’ts of married life or how assets would be split in a breakup has largely been viewed as dooming a marriage, with any discussion of the already taboo topic of divorce a cultural no-no.

But with as many as 200,000 divorces occurring each year, Japanese couples have increasingly begun to arrange “prenups” to hedge against any doubts about their partner and to ensure certain values and details are clearly stated before they take the plunge.

Japanese pop singer Silva, 43, had a prenuptial agreement arranged with her current husband, a man one year her senior, in a notarized deed in 2015. The contract lists 34 conditions, including Silva’s requirement that her husband has no more than two outside drinking sessions per week.

Other terms stipulate the couple must always spend their anniversary together, and that in the event of a divorce Silva be compensated with ¥1 million (about $9,000). Both have divorced once before.

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