Truth about population decline

Tokyo

The June 19 editorial “Reversing the population decline” lists facts and figures on Japan’s population decline, recently made public by the health ministry. But the editorial’s solutions offer nothing new and simply make well-worn suggestions by rote: more employment for young people, shortened working hours, more day-care facilities for children (what children?), more job opportunities for working mothers, and more flexible working hours for overworked fathers.

The editorial again misses, as do many commentators, the most important aspect: Despite a flourishing porn industry, young, married Japanese are just not having sex. No sex = no babies!

Kaori Shoji’s June 18 article, “The truth about Japanese love: We just don’t get along,” clearly sets out this social problem. Many Japanese young men (soushoku danshi) are just not interested in dating and mating with Japanese women, and the young women are equally disinterested. Much earlier research has supported this fact, showing that, in general, sexual intercourse between young heterosexual men and women either never/rarely happens or ceases altogether a short time after marriage.

The main problem, therefore, is not demographic. Why is there so little sexual activity in the Japanese of marrying age?

As a foreigner from a European country where this is not a problem, I regret that I cannot offer a solution, but I exhort the Japanese academic, medical and social experts to urgently investigate this malady in Japanese society and provide appropriate remedies. Until that happens, all the well-worn suggestions will come to naught. I urge young Japan to make love, not hot air!

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

paul gaysford