How do Japanese women feel about going Dutch on a date? Survey investigates, finds gap

Surprising amount say they’re OK with splitting the bill, but numbers might not tell the whole story.

While the Japanese language doesn’t assign any national descriptor to the practice, it does indeed have a phrase for “going Dutch:” warikan, which translates literally to “divided bill.” And of course, if Japanese society has a phrase for splitting the bill, some people also find themselves asking if it’s OK to do so on a date.

Popular messaging app Line’s electronic payment Line Pay division recently polled 35,915 of its users between the ages of 20 and 39, asking them who pays on their dates and how they feel about it. Starting off with a question for just the ladies (17,886 of whom responded), the survey asked how they felt about splitting the bill on a date, and found that the vast majority were OK with the idea.

● Splitting the bill evenly is OK: 69 percent of female respondents
● I want the guy to pay for everything or more than half: 25 percent
● I want to pay for more than half: 3 percent

The idea of splitting a bill in a non-50:50 ratio might seem kind of odd, but it’s not entirely unheard of in Japan. With so many restaurants also serving a wide variety of alcohol, it’s not unusual for a couple out on a date to consume several adult beverages, but often with the guy knocking back more rounds than the girl. Because of that, sometimes a guy who’s feeling slightly generous (or perhaps self-conscious about paying for everything if the relationship isn’t serious yet) will offer to pay more than half, in recognition that a large part of the bill reflects things that he ordered for his own enjoyment.

But while many of the women in the survey said they’re OK with going Dutch, when the survey asked the 18,029 men how things actually shake out on their dates, the result showed that even splits aren’t all that common, as the guys described the way their bills are settled as:

● I pay for everything: 52 percent
● I pay more than half: 38 percent
● We split the bill evenly: 6 percent
● She pays for everything or more than half: 1 percent
● Other: 3 percent

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