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Destina is headquartered in Tokyo and now has branches in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Founded in New York in 1996, Destina is run by a husband and wife team.While almost all female members at Destina are Japanese, 55 percent of male members are non-Japanese -- most of them Americans, with some Europeans and Australians."Some Western men seem to prefer Asian women, especially Japanese women with a proper educational background," says Naruse.Naokuni Naruse is now the chief executive officer, but it was a Japanese woman, Hiroko Ozawa, who founded the company.Ozawa later met and married Naruse, who was then a private consultant at US investment bank Goldman Sachs."Japanese women are much more sophisticated than they used to be, and they are looking for partners who will reflect that fact," Naruse explains.

"Their thinking is more open and their outlook is more diversified.

The environment of Destina's offices is a perfect reflection of how the company goes about its business.

This is not a place that operates on the "try, try again" ethos, but rather an atmosphere in which every care is taken to ensure that the matches are the right ones.

Some men say they can and will accept women who are up to 10 years older than themselves." After making an initial contact with Destina on the phone, prospective clients take a free personal interview where they are asked to describe their lifestyle, personal and professional background and preferences on the type of people they wish to meet.

After paying a membership fee, members are registered in Destina's database.

International marriages between Japanese and non-Japanese have increased 55 percent since 1990 to 39,727 in 2001, according to government statistics, although the majority of such marriages are between Japanese men and women from other parts of Asia.