Nov 10, 2012

Japan - What’s in a kiss? The future of Japan, by the looks of it

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Japan is a country infamously in decline – population-wise. So much so that analysts have predicted that if the national birthrate continues at its glacial pace of 1.39 children per woman the nation will be “extinct” in 1000 years.

But two stories have come out this morning which may have shed a little more light on the alarming subject.

Today, The Daily Yomiuri reported that one in three Japanese men feel they can’t get married, while another 35.3 per cent said they don’t want to marry.

Of the 450 men surveyed, many felt that their own economic insecurities prevented them from getting married, even though they wanted to.

What’s more, while almost 90 per cent of respondents said that they would like to have a child, almost 75 per cent said they weren’t sure of they could earn enough to pay for living expenses and education for the baby.

Such statistics are a sobering thought, given how few children there are in Japan these days.

But an even greater problem for the respondents who want to marry is their self confidence. Almost half of the men in their 20s felt they were unpopular with women.

Which brings me to the second of the two articles.

Rocket News 24  reports that an online poll by NTT Docomo reveals that over 10,000 people have not had their first kiss by the time they enter tertiary education.

Of those 10,000, more than 5,700 had not been kissed until they had entered the workforce and a further 331 had not had their first kiss until they were over 31.

But it gets worse. The category that received the second highest number of votes was “never kissed”.

Yes, over 6,000 of the poll participants had never experienced their first kiss.

The complete results of the almost 37,000 votes are as follows:

When did you have you first kiss? (36,818 votes total)

1. High school (9878 votes)
2. Never kissed (6119 votes)
3. Middle school (6021 votes)
4. After entering workforce and before 31 (5771 votes)
5. College (4262 votes)
6. Preschool/Kindergarten (2423 votes)
7. Elementary school (2029 votes)
8. After 31 (331 votes)

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