However, the rules tend to vary from area to area and the degree of enforcing them varies too.
Recently, the policy has been changed i some areas because of the negative growth rates.
Anyway, back on topic. All of you who say that it's pretty much the same as in the Western world are wrong. There are large differences between the status of women in the Western world compared to Asia/Japan. It IS true that more and more women are becoming more independent in these modern times but the difference is still pretty big.
Until VERY recent history, the Japanese never had the ideal of marrying out of love. It was an arrangement between families.