Japan's Reproductive Breakdown
November 18, 2012
Diaper manufacturer Unicharm announced in May that for the first time ever sales of its adult diapers were larger than those for babies.
In Japan, 61% of single males, between 18-34, said they don't have a girlfriend and 50% don't want one.
Japan is the country where the situation is most dire.The birth rate is 1.39 children per woman. Japan's population will keep declining by about one million people every year, which will leave Japan with a population of 87 million in 2060. By that time, more than 40% of the population is expected to be over the age of 65. The economy will implode.
Japan is a peculiar place. Children are socialized to be part of a community, and individualism is not encouraged. This is the land of the Bushido Code, an ideology that taught the value of honor, self-sacrifice and discipline above anything else.
However, this perfect army was defeated in WWII in an event that was nothing short of catastrophic. It was not merely a military defeat, but a defeat of a whole worldview that determined the place of the country in the world and the place of the individual regarding the country.
Unfortunately, Japan faced a recession since the 1980's, caused by the growth of other Asian economies, financial mismanagement and the simple fact that the knowledge economy demands creativity and innovation, things hard to develop within a militaristic work environment.
Having the rug pulled from under their feet, and not knowing any other reality than belonging to an all-embracing system, many Japanese men just retreated to themselves.
Women always had a difficult life in Japan and indeed, were second class citizens. It is not surprising that young girls, having a choice, would not want to live the same life of their mothers, waiting until midnight for the husband to come home and watching him sleep the whole weekend from pure exhaustion.
It is not unusual to see long lines in the opening of a new Louis Vuitton or Chanel store in Japan. Japanese women are among the biggest spenders in fashion, cosmetics and travel in the whole world. The last thing they are looking for is a boring herbivore or a hikikomori.
Recently, a number of books have been written that shed a new light on the situation. One is "Black Passenger: Yellow Cab", which characterizes Japanese women as yellow cabs which can be ridden anytime.
The easy availability of abortion is an incentive, it is in and out: most women don't care to use any birth control methods, and some have a dozen abortions. Neither is there in Japan a solid religious framework that would curtail the practice.
Women need strong men. The consumerism, vanity and promiscuity of some Japanese women can be explained by the lack of perspectives and the natural avoidance women feel for weak and directionless men.
Japanese men must understand that the system has failed them and that they are on their own. Their situation is not much different from western men, unemployed and left behind, with the distinction that western men are less shy and introverted, and have learned to live as individuals, unfortunately, increasingly in a more selfish and anti-social way.
Men in Japan should not expect reality to change. Nobody will help them; they have been betrayed. Forget the system. They must help themselves, embrace their masculinity, find and dedicate themselves to a vocation, start a business, write and publish, talk to God, travel the world. Get out of the room and the women will follow you.
Article on Asia demography: http://www.economist.com/node/
Women reject marriage in Asia: http://www.economist.com/node/