The secret behind Japan's plunging birth rate? A record 39.7 percent of
Japanese citizens ages 16-49 have not had sex for over a month - up 5
percentage points from two years ago - according to a survey published
this week by the Japan Family Planning Association.
Among married couples, the rate was only slightly lower, at 34.6
"This is very bad news for the country's birth rate, and something the
government needs to look into urgently," said Dr. Kunio Kitamura, the
family planning association's director.
The survey comes amid government concerns over Japan's faltering
birthrate, which fell in 2005 to a record low of 1.26 births in an average
woman's lifetime. The decline has stoked government fears of tax revenue
shortfalls and labor shortages.
"The situation is dismal," Kitamura said. "My research shows that if
you don't have sex for a month, you probably won't for a year."
Kitamura partly blamed stress from busy working lives.
A decline in physical communication in an increasingly Web-based
society was also a factor, he said.
The association said it handed out questionnaires to 2,713 randomly
selected people, and received responses from 636 men and 773 women in
November 2006. In a similar poll taken two years ago, 35 percent reported
having no sex for a month.
Japan came last in a 29-country study of sexual satisfaction published
by the University of Chicago last year, with a mere 25.7 percent of lovers
expressing satisfaction in bed.
The country was also in last place among 41 nations in a 2005 poll by
condom manufacturer Durex, with people having sex just 45 times a year
compared to a global average of