Japan’s Demographic Time Bomb – Part I

While the prospect of a million people “disappearing” from the UK has significant implications, for another country the issue is more current and urgent – Japan, and with it the rest of the world.

Recently the Washington Post published a story “Japan’s sexual apathy is endangering the global economy” which discussed Japan’s situation, and the number are, shall we say, rather shocking:

  • 45 percent of women and 25 percent of men, ages 16 to 24, are “not interested in or despised sexual contact.”
  • 49 percent of unmarried women and 61 of unmarried men, ages 18 to 34, are not in any kind of romantic relationship.
  • In every age group, the percentage of Japanese men and women who are not in a romantic relationship has been increasing steadily since the 1990s.
  • About a quarter of Japanese don’t want a romantic relationship. 23 percent of women and 27 percent of men say they are not interested in any kind of romantic relationship.
  • More than a third of childbearing-age Japanese have never had sex: 39 percent of women and 36 percent of men, ages 18 to 34.
  • The Japanese population institute projects that women in their early 20s have a 25 percent chance of never marrying and a 40 percent chance of never having kids.

There are two reasons for this – one men are opting for virtual girlfriends over the “real thing” to the extent that there are resorts for guys to take their gameconsole girlfriends to.

The flip-side of the coin is women are under considerable social pressure to leave the workforce when they get pregnant or even married. This makes career advancement for such women to be virtually impossible.  Given these mutually exclusive choices, a majority of women are choosing career and possessions over a family.

The following chart shows the common reasons Japanese men and women ages 25 to 34 gave for being single. The shaded bars represent the subsequent national surveys, from 1987 through 2011:

This is already showing up in a population decrease of 212,000 people in a single year (2012). This is a scary comparison to the UK which lost nearly 1M people due to the emigration of young males over a decade. One positive of the UK’s population emigration is that people are having babies and raising them to adult-hood as opposed to Japan’s population that’s become adverse to marriage and childbearing itself.

In part II of this article I’ll discuss why this is a time bomb, and why residents of other nations need to be deeply concerned.


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About A Northern Observer

Joe Random Guy who lives north of a lot of things. My image is from the National Archives - Battle of Britain - Aircraft spotter on the roof of a building in London. St. Paul's Cathedral is in the background. 306-NT-901B-3. http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/photos/

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