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TOKYO (AFP) — Perched on a beer case serving as a makeshift podium in central Tokyo, a group of middle-aged men are standing up to save their marriages -- and, they hope, marriage in Japan generally.
In a country where reticence about one's private life is the norm, these men are trying to prove their worth to their wives by making their vows as public as possible.
"I'm sorry I always forget to put the toilet seat down," said one man in a suit and tie confessed as he balanced on the beer box on a recent Saturday in Shimbashi, Tokyo's hub of "salaryman" corporate workers.
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We read something about this like a year ago. Public displays of affection are taboo in Japan. We can imagine that it’s a little tough to make the transition from stoic in public to touchy-feely in private. It’s not easy being two different people (like Ali Larter’s character on Heroes. Which is reportedly not going to be shut down due to the writer’s strike because they have enough episodes already written). So as Japan is becoming a little more ‘Western’ and affording women more rights, the men are now becoming aware that the jig is up. Maybe men (and women) all over the world could use this mantra of "Say 'thank you' without hesitating. Say 'sorry' without being scared. Say 'I love you' without being shy." Or maybe just new-agers, hippies, and recovering sex addicts.