Japan’s under-40s appear to be losing interest in conventional relationships. Millions aren’t even dating, and increasing numbers can’t be bothered with sex. For their government, “celibacy syndrome” is part of a looming national catastrophe.
Japan already has one of the world’s lowest birth rates. Its population of 126 million, which has been shrinking for the past decade, is projected to plunge a further one-third by 2060.
Then came speed dating in small groups so they could get to know each other better. And whenever anyone got too shy, elderly volunteers from a local “marriage-promotion committee” would step in to guide the conversation along.
Explorer correspondent Francesca Fiorentini visits a government-sponsored matchmaking event held in Japan as the country faces a declining population.
Nearly all local governments in the country are trying to play matchmaker these days.Some experts argue, though, that a more equal share of bread-winning and housework duties between the sexes will mean happier men and women — and therefore, more babies.