Why Japanese Women Give Male Co-Workers Chocolate on Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day, women all over the world will be receiving their usual gifts of flowers or chocolates from their significant others.

In Japan, however, it is kind of the opposite, as it is customary for the women to give “obligation chocolates” to their male co-workers on the day of hearts.

It’s worth noting, however, that there are many different classes of Valentine’s Day chocolates to portray all kinds of romantic feelings, according to RocketNews24.

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Giri choco, a cheap and most popular kind of chocolates purchased during the season, is not associated with romantic love but with platonic affection. Giving Giri choco to male coworkers is widely considered as simply being nice to them.

In a survey conducted by 3M Japan, it was found that out of 450 female respondents, or 39.8%, are planning to give Giri choco to a coworker this Valentine’s day.

Among them, 59.2% said it will be their way of showing appreciation for the help and support they received from their male colleagues. According to 44.7% of respondents, giving Giri choco helps promote smoother communication among co-workers.

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For 18.4% of women, they believe the gesture will make the recipient happy, while 7.8% said they will be buying Giri choco just because others will.

According to the survey, 59.2% of the Giri choco buyers were set to spend less than 500 yen ($4.30) each, while 34.1% said their budget ranges between 501 to 1,000 yen ($5-9) per person.

Since the giver is expected to gift just a few, they are limited mostly to teammates or co-members of a group. The majority of those surveyed, 62.9%, plan to buy Giri choco for just five people or less, while about 12.8% of women said they will be giving the chocolates to more than 10 people.

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