Japanese Population Decline Due to Porn?
An article in TheWeek delineates how Japan, which has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, is facing an imminent population decline.
The population in Japan reached a 2007 peak of 128 million, but it has been dropping roughly one million people each year since, leaving the government to estimate that by 2060, the number of Japanese in Japan will only be 87 million. Economics professor Heizo Takenaka said, "Sooner or later, Japan will have to face the necessity of immigration."
The reasons for the population decline are various, yet one salient fact stands out: young people in Japan are not as interested in sex. One of the prime reasons for their disinterest is their lack of interest in dating, which partially stems from their interest in online porn and imaginary relationships with anime characters in games like Nintendo's Love Plus.
The British newspaper The Observer recently reported that 45% of women and 25% of men in Japan ages 16 to 24 said they were not looking to have sex. The article also referred to sekkusu shinai shokogun, or "celibacy syndrome." As Ben Shapiro wrote in Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism is Corrupting America in 2005, “The limitless sexual license of the porn generation is not without consequence. It leads to spiritual desensitization, emotional removal, and lack of commitment.”
This bodes ill for America, where 70% of men ages 18-24 visit pornographic sites monthly, and 66% of men between 20 and 40 report regular use of pornography.
One million young Japanese men are called hikikomori, youths who stay in their parents’ homes and are addicted to video games and reading comics. Many have withdrawn from the world because of bad grades or being rejected in their attempts at romance. Once they drop out of society, the stigma starts to grow. For many of them, their solitude is encouraged by their mothers. Psychiatrist Tamaki Saito, who first noticed that trend in the 1990s, said, "In Japan, mothers and sons often have a symbiotic, codependent relationship."
Even beyond that phenomenon, the marriage rate among those out in the world has still declined markedly. In 1975, 21% of women and 49% of men under 30 had never been married; by 2005, 60% of women and 72% of men had never walked down the aisle.
One reason for the decline in marriage is that marriages had traditionally been arranged in Japan. Now that young Japanese want to find romance, they are unsure how to go about it. Another reason is that housing prices have skyrocketed while wages have remained stationary, necessitating a two-income household; however, women were expected to stay at home while their husbands worked. Thus young Japanese men don’t want the burden of working insane hours to support their families. Japanese women are expected to end their professional careers when they have children, while Japanese men only spend an average of one hour a day with their children.