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Valentine’s Day running in reverse

TOKYO (TR) – The Japanese woman’s time-honored role of giving chocolate goodies to her true love and other not-so-trues each February 14th is shifting, reports Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 22).

The distribution of inconsequential giri choco, or obligation chocolate, that a female usually passes on to friends or co-workers with zero emotional interest, might actually see a rise this Valentine’s Day. A survey conducted by department store Printemps Ginza reported that women on average will spend 1,172 yen out of sheer duty, an increase of 143 yen over the year before.

The daily asks how this can be possible given the harsh economic climate. One office lady in her 30s explains: “Because of restructurings and firings nowadays, it is good to flatter the boss.”

Another surprise, the tabloid discovers, is an interest by men for giving the women they fancy elaborate chocolate boxes. Between February 3rd and 14th, department store Seibu will be holding a “reverse chocolate” campaign that will find a special consulting section placed on the men’s floor of the chain’s Shibuya branch for purchasing seven- and nine-count boxes of some of finest sweets from France and Belgium.

True, too, the usual suspects will be in place right on up through the middle of February, highlighted by the influx of well-known international brands like Franck Fresson and the annual “Salon of Chocolate” promotion running between January 21st and 26 at the Shinjuku outlet of shopping chain Isetan.

But this year, the daily predicts a state of backwardness in the office, with sweets flying around in an unprecedented manner.

Source: “Valentine kotoshi wa giri choco kitai daino ryu,” Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 22)