Japanese women ditch Valentine’s Day tradition of obligation chocolate

The practice, called ‘giri choco’, dictates that they give chocolates to male coworkers

Japanese women have ditched a workplace tradition that dictates they must give chocolates to male colleagues on Valentines Day, with growing anger at the practice of “forced giving”, the media reported on Monday.

The tradition is called “giri choco” which literally means “obligation chocolates”, the Guardian reported.

Banning the practice

Some companies were now banning the practice, which is seen by many workers as a form of abuse of power and harassment.

A survey found that more than 60% of women will instead buy chocolates as a personal treat on February 14.

More than 56% said they would give chocolates to family members, while 36% would make the same gesture towards their partners.

Only 35% said they planned to hand out chocolates to men at their workplace, according to the survey conducted by a Tokyo-based department store.

“Before the ban, we had to worry about things like how much is appropriate to spend on each chocolate and where we draw the line in who we give the chocolates to, so it’s good that we no longer have this culture of forced giving,” one of the surveyed office workers said.

‘Chocolate water’

Giving chocolate as Valentine’s Day gifts took off commercially in Japan in the mid-1950s, growing into a multimillion-dollar market.

Japan Airlines will hand out chocolates to passengers — male and female — on all of its domestic and international flights on February 14, while a hot spring resort near Tokyo has unveiled a bath filled with steaming “chocolate water”.

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