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In Japanese, the practice is known as It may, in fact, be more endemic to how people are expected to manage their work-life balance.
Unlike countries that offer more generous parental leave, Japan only offers 14 weeks of maternity leave at 60% pay.
So although it’s grammatically correct to say 私もあなたのことが好き watashi mo anata no koto ga suki – “I like you too”, it is more common to simply say 私も好き – watashi mo suki which literally means “I also like”. Well, in this case, it’s understood from the context.
If someone is looking at you with starry eyes and shoving roses in your direction and you hear the word “suki”, you can bet they’re talking about you.
Economists, not typically an alarmist bunch, have called the situation a "demographic time bomb," which has led Japan to initiate a multi-pronged approach to reverse the trend.
However, right off the bat, I should clarify this is not a “how-to-pick-up-hot-chicks” or dudes in Japan type article. I could write books about being slapped in the face by Japanese women but that’s another story…
I also interviewed a few Japanese friends who were kind enough to tell me which phrases were more natural and commonly used.
Interestingly, I also learned which phrases were a little old fashioned or not used at all anymore. According to my Japanese friends, another classic phrase that is often taught to ask someone out is お茶しませんか ocha shimasen ka – Won’t you have tea with me?
However, if you do happen to find yourself romantically entangled with someone from Japan, you might find my top 10 phrases for dating in Japanese useful.
I created this list from watching too many cheesy Japanese TV dramas, listening to J-pop songs and of course real life conversations with people here in Japan.The programs come in response to the country's population woes.