The end of Japan?
Of marriage, sex, and other headaches
Dear readers, as I mentioned in a recent post, a couple of my stories were picked up by the Tokyo Kinky website and went micro-viral. So I’m going to return the favor and feature an interesting news I found there.
As reported by Tokyo Kinky on 16 September, a new survey has found that an increasing number of people in Japan aged 18-34 don’t expect to get married.
The results of the government-affiliated National Institute of Population and Social Security Research’s 2021 survey of 7,862 people, published earlier this month, show that 17.3% of men and 14.6% of women aged between 18 and 34 claimed to have no intention of marrying.
This is the highest such figure since the questionnaire was first conducted in 1982.
Back in the mid-1980s, at the peak of the confident bubble economy years, the numbers were just 2.3% for men and 4.1% for women.
According to the survey, younger people want more freedom and staying single guarantees that. Others, especially women, indicated that they want a career, which is still hampered by having children in Japan.
Some men also said they were concerned about job security in the current economic climate in Japan, since they need stable, decently paid work to pay the costs of having children (the national health insurance scheme covers some but not all the costs of giving birth, for instance, plus there are then regular costs like kindergarten or nursery school, followed by even greater expenses later down the line like high school and college).
Generally speaking, it’s the whole employment system that seems to be one of the major culprits in preventing people from enjoying a better life/work balance.
In November 2015, for instance, The Guardian reported that almost half of Japanese women who worked on short-term contracts suffered harassment after becoming pregnant or giving birth, according to a government survey.
The Japanese even have a name for that phenomenon, matahara, which means “maternity harassment.”
The results of the survey showed 48.7% of women sent to corporate clients by temp agencies encountered victimization, ranging from dismissal and demotion to unfair treatment and verbal abuse. The survey of 3,500 women aged 24-44 found that 21.8% of full-time employees were subjected to similar mistreatment.
In the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Gender Gap Index, Japan ranked 104th out of 142 countries, behind the likes of Tajikistan and Armenia.
Amazingly, one of the so-called world economic powers has managed to outdo itself and in the 2021 expanded Index, ranked 120th out of 156 countries.
In a country where having children out of wedlock is frowned upon, fewer marriages result in fewer children. For example, the number of marriages has fallen to half a million per year, which is the lowest since 1945. Accordingly, the number of born in Japan fell in 2021 by 3.5% to another record low.
Japan is already the fastest aging country in the world. Fewer people expecting to get married then spells trouble in the form of a shrinking population and depopulation in the rural areas and small towns as the older generations die off.
Tokyo Kinky ends its report by wondering if fewer Japanese are having sex. Judging by the country’s thriving sex industry it seems that appetite for sex is not really an issue. It’s just that they only want to have fun, not having kids.
All those Japanese women who don’t want to get married may have read this pamphlet that was published in the UK in 1911.
Advice on Marriage.
TO YOUNG LADIES.
1. Do not marry at all.
2. But if you must avoid the Beauty Men, Flirts, and the Bounders, Tailor’s Dummies, and the Football Enthusiasts.
3. Look for a Strong, Tame Man, a Fire-lighter, Coal-getter, Window Cleaner, and Yard Swiller.
4. Don’t except too much, most men are lazy, selfish, thoughtless, lying, drunken, clumsy, heavy-footed, rough, unmanly brutes, and need taming.
5. All Bachelors are, and many are worse still.
6. If you want him to be happy, Feed the Brute.
7. The same remark applies to Dogs.
8. You will be wiser not to chance it, it isn’t worth the risk.
A SUFFRAGETTE WIFE.
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