...as Your BFF - vice.com
Rent-a-friend agencies are becoming increasingly popular in Japan as people turn to paid companionship to combat feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Many Japanese people struggle to express their true feelings to colleagues, friends, or even their partner, leading to what is known as existential loneliness. With a price tag of $50 an hour, rental friends offer a solution to this problem, providing clients with someone to talk to and spend time with. However, while some clients just need a listening ear or someone to accompany them to events, others are dealing with deeper issues such as identity crises and depression.