Nakamura, an year-old university student, winces whenever he imagines himself dating a girl. Nakamura, who asked to be identified only by his surname, is happy to remain single. The economics major at a school in Tokyo has never had sex, but he says he is OK with that.
A part of him does fantasize about getting married by the age of 30, but he hastens to add: Experts point to a variety of factors contributing to this mindset, from the advent of the Internet to financial insecurity to improving career opportunities for women.
A survey released last January by O-net, a marriage counseling firm, found that To top it off, a survey by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry revealed that the percentage of unmarried somethings who do not wish to have children surged to The JFPA survey in found What little interest they have in relationships, then, finds its outlet in digital communities, where they fall in love with anime and manga characters, and become addicted to an array of dating simulation games, says Masahiro Yamada, a professor of sociology at Chuo University.
That has helped students develop an almost instinctive aversion to real-life physical relations, he says. Nakamura, the university student, knows all about infatuation with the unreal.
Girls are all cute and guys are handsome and strong. In those rare moments when his libido gets the better of him, Nakamura turns to his smartphone in search of an online porn video for quick masturbation. The lack of financial security makes the young, particularly men, balk at approaching members of the opposite sex, he says.
Yosuke Hiwatashi, a year-old Kagoshima resident, is a case in point. Hiwatashi, single and living with his parents, makes money as a dispatch worker to run optical fiber lines to households. If he wants to go out for a drink or two with his friends, Hiwatashi must ask his parents for permission. But the uncertain nature of his job, such as erratic days off and unusual working hours, makes it difficult for him to hang out with friends in the first place.
As such, he says, he winds up spending most of his days off surfing the Internet and watching anime on TV. Why would women feel attracted to a guy like me? But this freedom to pursue a career has resulted in women delaying getting married. Some, she adds, postpone it until they meet what they believe to be the most perfect bachelor possible, blissfully unaware such an opportunity rarely arises.
Hanging out with friends and hunting for a job are far more important priorities for her at the moment. An aspiring TV anchorwoman, she is also adamant that she will live her life as a dedicated businesswoman. Now that the Supreme Court has recently upheld the constitutionality of a Civil Code provision forcing married couples to adopt a single surname, Rika says that even if she did find the right partner, she might choose not to register her marriage to avoid complicating her career development.
Not all youths, however, are as pessimistic toward, or indifferent to, romance and marriage as Nakamura, Hiwatashi and Rika. Some youngsters are merely too shy to approach the opposite sex, despite their inner desire to start a relationship. Akira, who plays guitar in a band at his university, says he hopes to get married by the time he turns 40, but marriage is low on his wish list. I would just wait until the right girl shows up.