Some 45 percent of Japanese women aged 16-24 are not interested in or despise sexual contact and more than a quarter of men feel the same way, a survey by the Japan Family Planning Association says.
Japan’s media have labeled the phenomenon sekkusu shinai shokogun or “celibacy syndrome,” while the govt sees it as a looming national catastrophe.
The number of single people in Japan has reached a record high. A survey in 2011 found that 61percent of unmarried men and 49 percent of women in Japan aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship, which is almost 10 percent higher than five years ago. Another study found that a third of people under 30 had never dated at all.
Japan already has one of the world’s lowest birth rates. Its population of 126 million, which has been shrinking for the past decade, is projected to drop a further one-third by 2060.
“The effects of a population decrease are already being felt,” noted an editorial in the Japan Times. “Cases in which road bridges have been closed to traffic because of a lack of funds for maintenance and a drop in the number of users are increasing. Forests exist whose owners are now unknown. The number of vacant houses is increasing. Some municipalities have passed by-laws under which they will demolish vacant houses that have become dangerously dilapidated.”
Official concerns don’t help so far. Fewer babies were born in Japan in 2012 than any year on record. This was also the year, as the number of elderly people shoots up.