Why Aren't Japanese Youth Into Relationships Anymore?

Maryam Tajalli
Japan's government wants younger generations to fall in love pronto.

While China fights tooth and nail to keep its population under control, next door neighbor Japan has a completely different problem at hand. Despite constant efforts and encouragement on part of the government, the population in Japan is becoming increasingly disproportionate as more people decline to start families.

population in Japan

One of the factors contributing to the decrease in population is rather unexpected – Japanese youth have turned away from love and relationships. In a survey conducted by the government to shed light on the lower birth rates, 46.2 percent of respondents said they found relationships too “bothersome.”  

The other most popular reasons for the youth to shun relationships include prioritizing hobbies and professional life ahead of romantic indulgences. Although it seems surprising coming from a country known for its heavy pornographic presence, the survey revealed that a quarter of unmarried men over the age of 30 had never had sex.

This interesting trend in the Japan might have its roots in the recent global slowdown, which has booted many young Japanese from the workforce and therefore the financial means to start a family. There has also been a shift in the social structure in recent years, leading to an increase in single-households, while the idea of a single breadwinner in families has become obsolete.

The distortion of the population distribution is starting to have repercussions for the masses as Japan struggles to cope with insufficient funds from taxes to provide pensions and health care for the elderly. With the current trends, Japanese population will decrease by one-third in the next 50 years.

The Japanese government is actively trying ways to help the youth find matches and develop relationships. Efforts range from speed dating services and mixers sponsored by government to subsidies and allowances for marriages, pregnancy and child birth.