Majority of unmarried young males have no girlfriend in modern Japan
James Jomo and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
According to a survey consisting of 7,000 individuals it was reported that 61.4% of unmarried Japanese men had no girlfriend in the age group of 18-34. The figure for women in the same age group was 49.5% and this is an increase in both groups since similar research was taken in 2005. Therefore, what are the factors behind such a high figure?
Sadly, information from the survey which was reported in Kyodo News doesn’t give ample information but it does correspond with other findings, for example sexless marriages have been increasing in recent times. Also, the survey was done by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research and this adds credence to the statistics.
13.5% of men stated that they didn’t know how to be in a relationship and the figure for females was 11.6%. This figure may appear high but going by the usual environment in Tokyo then it isn’t surprising. After all, it is rare to see strangers talking to each other outside limited environments. Therefore, social interaction mainly applies to a network based around the family, school friends, graduate friends for individuals who attended university and friendships developed at work.
Another major factor is that many Japanese individuals work long-hours and this means that free time is limited. Also, many children have been shielded by their parents and over protection will be partly behind the statistics related to individuals who don’t know how to form a relationship.
Many single people also enjoy the freedom they have and this applies to spending money on themselves and not being tied down by others. Japan also caters extremely well for single lifestyles and this applies to the utilization of modern technology and gadgets.
Other individuals are more pragmatic and worry about financial related issues and with the economy remaining gloomy then this is understandable. However, the findings stated that 86.3% of men and 89.4% of women do desire marriage in the future. Also, 43.3% of men stated that they would get married in the year if they could find a suitable partner and for females the figure was 53.2% and this is a new high for both groups.
Therefore, these findings would imply that limited social interaction, busy lifestyles based around work, and not knowing how to form a relationship, are the real issues and not the fact that so many people are single.
The survey taken was the seventh in total and the data is obtained every 5 years in order to understand the internal social problems related to marriage. Given everything, it would appear that marriage itself isn’t the problem because the real issue applies to social interaction and perceptions.