Despite being the largest metropolis in the world, Japans population is decreasing at a rapid pace. According to the Japan Times, Japans population has decreased by a record of 244,000 people in 2013. Unless birth rates increase dramatically, the Japanese government estimated that the population would decline from its current 127.5 million to 97 million, by 2050.
What could be the cause of such low birth rates? Some would blame the change in attitude toward marriage and gender roles, and low fertility rates. However, most would say birth rates are decreasing because Japanese men are no longer interested in sex…well, sex with real women, at least.
“Unless something happens to boost Japan’s birth rate, its population will shrink by a third between now and 2060. One reason for the lack of babies is the emergence of a new breed of Japanese men, the otaku, who love manga, anime and computers – and sometimes show little interest in sex.”
A popular video game that provides men with the experience of interacting with virtual girls is Love plus, a game made by Nintendo. The object of the game is to interact with girls at your high school, get to know them, and eventually establish a romantic relationship with them.
Another popular substitute for intimate contact are silicone sex dolls that are mass produced in factories and sold online. A man who owns over a hundred of these dolls claims that he prefers sex dolls since they cannot betray or give him trouble like a real woman would.
As bizarre as it all sounds, the decrease of relations between men and women, in Japan, proves that all nations are experiencing new changes with new media technologies. While the population decreases in Japan, acts of violence and mental disorders are becoming a major problem in the West. People are still learning how to cope with living in a world that is dominated and highly influenced by digital media. As new technology continues to develop everyday, we must also develop more effective ways on how people can cope with a fast-paced lifestyle and the consumption of an immense amount of information from day-to-day.
BBC News Magazine (23 October, 2013). The Japanese men who prefer virtual girlfriends to sex. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24614830
The Diplomat (3 February, 2013). Japan’s Demographic Disaster. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24614830
BBC News Asia (1 January, 201). Japan’s population falls by a record 244,000 in 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25566868
CNN World (20 January, 2014). Is Japan’s aging population a good thing?http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/20/is-japans-aging-population-a-good-thing/?hpt=hp_bn2
BBC Magazine (23 October, 2013). Japanese men happy with virtual girlfriends. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24638188