Japanese celibacy is a growing trend, which poses a problem for the future workforce as more adults stay happily single and sex-free and the birth rate drops lower.
The number of single men between the ages of 18 and 34 rose by 10 percent to a record high from 2005 until the present. according to a survey by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research cited in an article at CNN. About 61 percent of these single men don’t have a girlfriend. Half of the single women surveyed do not have boyfriends. Furthermore, almost half of these men and women claim they don’t want a boyfriend or girlfriend, either.
Of unmarried men and women in their late thirties, 1 in 4 have not had sex.
Survey results about marriage were conflicting. About 90 percent said they wanted to get married someday, but that contradicts the response of young single Japanese women. Ninety percent of them said they would prefer to stay single (possibly because of the restrictive role traditionally given to Japanese housewives.)
What does this have to do with business?
Japan already has one of the lowest birth rates in the country. With 130 million people in the nation, that has not seemed to be an issue, but the population is aging and now the birthrate is falling even further. Already, at less than 2 children per couple, not enough children are being born to replace the current workforce, and one-fifth of the population is over 65 now. Japan does not encourage immigration or migrant workers, so this is a dilemma for Japanese business.
Since Japan has the world’s third largest economy, if Japan has trouble 10 or 20 years into the future, it will have repercussions right across the globe.
It is necessary for a healthy economy for most people to marry and procreate in a reasonable way. In many countries, there are far too many children for the economy to support them. For those countries, more celibacy would be a good thing, but Japanese celibacy is a serious issue.
What is behind this lack of interest in marriage and sex? Unmarried sex is frowned upon in Japan, despite what you might see in anime. Financial reasons and lack of housing space may have a lot to do with it. Possibly, the desire for personal advancement and unwillingness to accept traditional roles influences young adults.
Whatever the problem is, perhaps Japan needs to think of ways to encourage babies or change their attitudes toward an outside work force very quickly!