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In some places, rates of non-marriage are especially striking: in Bangkok, 20% of 40-44-year old women are not married; in Tokyo, 21%; among university graduates of that age in Singapore, 27%.So far, the trend has not affected Asia's two giants, China and India.
Fertility in East Asia has fallen from 5.3 children per woman in the late 1960s to 1.6 now.
In contrast, half of marriages in some Western countries end in divorce, and half of all children are born outside wedlock.
The recent riots across Britain, whose origins many believe lie in an absence of either parental guidance or filial respect, seem to underline a profound difference between East and West.
Japanese women, who typically work 40 hours a week in the office, then do, on average, another 30 hours of housework. And Asian women who give up work to look after children find it hard to return when the offspring are grown.
Not surprisingly, Asian women have an unusually pessimistic view of marriage.
But a more intriguing, if less noticed, argument was that traditional family values were stronger in Asia than in America and Europe, and that this partly accounted for Asia's economic success.