Nearly half of young Japenese people have had no sexual experiences by the time they are 30, according to a report by Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.
Many Japanese men claim they remain intimidated by sexual activity. The research found that 43 percent of people aged 18 to 34 are virgins. The report comes amidst a growing population crisis in Japan exacerbated by growing lifespans and young people increasingly abstaining from sexual activity.
The birthrate also fell below one million in Japan for the first time last year, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare.
Under current projections, the current Japanese population of 127 million will fall by nearly 40 million by 2065. Figures released last year found that the population dropped by over one million people between 2010 and 2015.
According to the research, many young Japanese people are instead turning to pornography to fulfill their sexual desires, amid less social pressure to marry and financial concerns.
A survey released by the Japanese Health Ministry released this year also found that nearly one out of four people have considered suicide, with more women admitting to the impulse than men but higher suicide rates among men than women.
The fertility crisis has also led to serious problems within the Japanese economy, such as labor shortages within the country’s aging population. As a result, construction companies are now turning to robots to fill gaps within their workforce.
Japanese authorities are trying a number of initiatives to push back against what has been dubbed the country’s “demographic time bomb.” In 2015, the federal government signed into law a set of policies to expand nursery care, empower fathers to take paternity leave, and organize matchmaking events in an attempt to encourage young people to pursue romantic relationships.
Politicians have also considered loosening the country’s notoriously strict immigration laws in hope that foreigners might stimulate sexual activity.
In 2016, the United States also reached its lowest ever fertility rate, with just 62 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, down one percent from 2015. However, the American population is actually increasing due to rapidly growing levels of immigration.