09 May, 2013

Adult adoption in Japan

Did you know that adult adoption is a practise in Japan? I think I may have had an inkling, but this article says it's not uncommon. Interestingly enough, it is a foreign-born former American who did the adopting in this case (he's recently become a Japanese citizen, which is not terribly common among foreigners*).

Wikipedia (I know, a less than reliable source) has a lengthy entry on "Japanese adult adoption", and cites this astounding fact about Japanese adoption:
Over 90% of the 81,000 people adopted in Japan in 2011 were adult males in their 20s and 30s.
The main reason for these adoptions is to secure an heir and carry on the family business. The Economist (you have to go and check out the article, if only to see the witty cartoon) writes this:
Toyota and Suzuki, both carmakers, Canon, an electronics firm, and Kajima, a construction company, have all adopted sons to manage them.
The BBC have also written on this topic, giving as an example the oldest business in the world (according to the Guinness Book of Records).

*You might be interested to know that Japan accepts only about 15,000 naturalised citizens each year (about 0.011% of their population). That is much less than Australia who welcomed 84,183 new citizens in 2011-2012 (about 2.8% of the population).


Ken Rolph said...

Adult adoption. Sounds very ancient Roman.

Wendy said...

Yes it does!