Why are so few Japanese seeking relationships and sexual partners?

January 18, 2012

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(AP/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Japan has a booming sex industry. Shown here are sex shops in Tokyo.

Japan has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. Thus, every five years, the Japanese government conducts a study on attitudes toward sex and marriage.

Recent findings suggest that the birth rate will probably continue to plummet. The reason? Compared to societies around the world, the Japanese aren’t having sex -- as much as a quarter of all unmarried men and women have never even had sex. What's more, many Japanese say they do not want a partner. According to one report  90 percent of young Japanese women said they preferred to stay single. 

Daniel Aldrich is a professor of political science at Purdue University who focuses on Japan. He tells Worldview what the government survey reveals about society, and sexuality, in Japan.