Worldview

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Broadcast from the Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson Foundation Talk Studio, supporting arts and communications outreach

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(AP/Itsuo Inouye)
There's still a high number of arranged marriages in modern-day Japan. Here, a newlywed couple walks in Tokyo's Sensoji Temple.

Jan. 18, 2012

Japan's birth rate is extremely low, so every five years the government conducts a survey on attitudes toward sex and marriage.  And the latest statistics suggest that it's unlikely the birth rate will go up.   It turns out that lots of Japanese aren’t even having sex. One out of four unmarried Japanese men, and more than a quarter of unmarried Japanese women between 35 and 39, have never had sex. A record 61 percent of men between 18 and 35 have no girlfriend and say they’re even not looking for one. We try to figure out what’s behind this lack of lust with Chie Ohlsson, about her experience- she says she ended up marrying an American.  And, political scientist Daniel Aldrich tells us how changes in traditional women's roles have impacted relations between men and women in Japan.  And on Global Notes, local musician Blagoj Lamnjov stops to show off the zurla, a Macedonian wind instrument akin to the oboe but a whole lot louder.

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