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No sex please, we're Japanese 9pm tonight


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This is surely one to watch tonight at 9pm bbc2!

In a quest to find out why the Japanese birth rate has collapsed, and why Japanese men and women have drifted apart, reporter Anita Rani talks to two self-confessed male geeks, one 39, the other 38. Their lives revolve around a Nintendo computer game where they are locked in relationships with their girlfriends, eternally doe-eyed, idealised Manga cartoon schoolgirls in skimpy outfits.

Its a weird, chilling sequence that goes a long way to explain why Japanese men and woman dont date much. One of the men is married, but when asked if hed choose his wife over his girlfriend, theres a VERY long pause.

In a world where most countries are anticipating problems caused by population growth, Japan expects a stunted reproduction rate caused by the absence of more and more men from the dating scene. This has been blamed on otaku culture - an obsession with computer games, manga and animation - and it has caused a rise in the number of young people with virtual partners, meaning a dwindling generation of future tax payers. Anita Rani investigates the extent of the problem.

http://www.radiotimes.com/episode/cpmyvp/no-sex-please-were-japanese
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I'm going to watch this, but it's a bit a of a shame if it focuses on otaku culture. Much more relevant is a contemporary phenomenon that translates as "herbivorous males", which is basically young dudes who instead of wanting to have sex with girls prefer to dye their fringe and wear fashionable rings. Metrosexuals who are hated by the baby boomers and new breed generations for being beta as fuck.

It sounds funny but is a bit more serious when you consider it's wider implications with regards to the ageing population. Even if Abenomics succeed and catapult the country out of its economic malaise, that doesn't really matter if your labour market is anemic.

Good for me though, more jobs for skilled foreigners in the coming decades.

qG8GERK.jpg

Beards = alpha

Glasses = beta

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There's two, sort of, conflicting articles on the BBC website about this; this one points the finger at Otaku culture, whilst this second one which dates from July and discusses "Hikikomori" rather than the declining sexual activity of Japanese men but they both cover similar ground the latter goes to some effort to explain some of the differences between sufferers of Hikikomori and those who are defined as Otaku.

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Their lives revolve around a Nintendo computer game where they are locked in relationships with their girlfriends, eternally doe-eyed, idealised Manga cartoon schoolgirls in skimpy outfits

not sure this sample group is representative of Japanese men, is it? it's like asking why British men are shit in bed and interviewing two neckbeards who camp outside Games Workshop.

if it is representative then that is pretty hilarious and makes me want to visit Japan even more.

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not sure this sample group is representative of Japanese men, is it? it's like asking why British men are shit in bed and interviewing two neckbeards who camp outside Games Workshop.

if it is representative then that is pretty hilarious and makes me want to visit Japan even more.

:lol:

I was coming here to post the same sort of thing, these guys are just basement losers, surely...

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Yeah it was interesting but didn't seem to actually tackle much, it didn't really go in depth into relationships between men and women in Japan and instead was more focused on the increasing elderly population and how it was hurting the countries economy.

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Apart from the two uber-Otaku, it had sod all to do with virtual gfs or schoolgirls or tentacles. As has been said it was mostly a demographic case study of an ageing population, which was very interesting in its own right, and ill served by its own stupid Daily Mail title.

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This guardian article is much more interesting and focuses less on pointing the finger at videogames and geeky stuff and more on the economy and how endemic misogyny is affecting how younglings are perceiving sex and relationships over there:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/young-people-japan-stopped-having-sex

EDIT: I didn't actually watch the programme, I'm just reacting to the title. To make up for my folly, here's a documentary about the Host clubs of Osaka and the women who use them.

http://youtu.be/bL1pA0McgvM

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"Japan's has a worse debt problem even than Greece"

Ignore that bit! It's domestically held debt. IMF ain't gonna come knocking any time soon. This is even mentioned towards the end of the programme. Bit odd!

It was a nice little programme, but I do wish they'd nailed the issue a bit more. The really good bit was the bit with the women in the izakaya. Every single thing those women said was key, especially the problems with re-entering the labour market after giving birth (again talked about towards the end). As Westernized as Japan is, the patriarchy so often found across Asia is still there. But it's still women you want to talk to if you want a straight answer about anything, obviously!

Also, Anita Rani has absolutely amazing interpersonal skills. Everyone she meets loves her within seconds. How does she do this? I think I fancy her.

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Japan's ageing demographic and declining birthrate were something I learnt about in secondary school, in the 90s. Seemed completely alien, then - even the idea of Japan.

I think that there are multiple reasons for the declining birthrate, but I have a few comments from Japanese co-workers and friends between 20-55 years old, on a few aspects of Japanese culture (rough translations given):

"The salaryman has the hard life. People in the west think that Japanese women are treated unfairly, and are not given equal "opportunities" (i.e. the right to work). One reason they are not fighting for them so hard, is that they know salarymen work from 9-9, with at a daily 2-hour commute, and are just worker drones. They'd understandably rather be at home, with children (if they have any), or out with friends"

"Women in Japan actually are in charge. I (and my colleagues) go out to work, and the wife is in control of the bank account. She gives me monthly pocket money"

"I really want a girlfriend. I want a wife. I want kids. Please teach me how!"

"Most people live with their parents, through their 20s. If they start a relationship, get married, rent somewhere... their quality of life will diminish because they are not living rent-free/subsidised and often the woman won't want to work."

"Women (like me) don't want to work. I did a part time job, but I found a man with a secure job and now we're trying for a baby"

"I prefer hanging out with my friends. It's cheaper, and there's no stress. I can be myself"

"Having a child out of wedlock is a social no-no. It will bring shame to the family. We are very careful. Due to our strict parents, we go to Love Hotels"

I think it's all rather interesting. There are many reasons for this situation, but I'd argue that none are due to any recent changes in the past 5-10 years. Japan has a different culture, and that's why newspapers such as the Guardian love to write a story about it, as it seems almost fictitious.

In the Guardian article, lots was made of the weird Japanese porn industry, and how men can't be attracted to normal women because of that. I'm not sure how much I buy that. Have teen pregnancies gone down in the UK due to internet porn? Porn only ever makes me want to have sex more. Shibuya is full of love hotels. People are at it here, they really are. The number of children is declining, but I'm not sure about the numbers of people having sex.

Anyway, it's by-and-large all anecdotal, and opinion-based. It will be interesting to see how Japan responds to this situation, but I don't see it being addressed in the near future.

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I watched this on the off chance there would be some fit Japanese girls... I was disappointed.

However, it did make me want to visit Japan and take advantage of the whole situation. There are obviously a load of Japanese girls that need putting to the sword...

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The original BBC article made an interesting point. A lot of Japanese males know they will never reach their parents level of success and be able to support a family, so become withdrawn from society. I can totally relate. I can barely support myself, god knows how I'd cope if I also had a family.

Going to watch this later I think.

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I watched this on the off chance there would be some fit Japanese girls... I was disappointed.

However, it did make me want to visit Japan and take advantage of the whole situation. There are obviously a load of Japanese girls that need putting to the sword...

I think you will find this is already the case, hordes of expats in Japan (and China, Thailand etc) for one sole reason only. It's where all the misfits, losers and just plain weirdos who can never get any back home can be an absolute player and be treated like a god. All because of the colour of your skin. If you're tall and have blond hair blue eyes then they will probably do all kinds of hardcore stuff for you.
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This problem of low birth rate isn't even a uniquely Japanese problem, several of the Asian 'Tiger' economies suffer from the same problem, even worse in a lot of cases:

Hong Kong

Singapore

South Korea

Taiwan

I suppose their cultural peculiarities just aren't as bizarre to the average Westerner, economic malaise doesn't explain any of them either, as all 4 are doing pretty well.

And the problem isn't even confined to Asia:

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?v=25

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The 'straw men' geeks were a bit pointless/not the real issue but the points about immigration and tradition (marriage, women going back to work etc) were well made.

The point that how unique Japan is makes it special to visit is true and how monocultural it is can be seen as a negative also.

Interesting that issues in the UK like immigration and welfare are problems in Japan too but for exactly the opposite reasons!

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Interesting that issues in the UK like immigration and welfare are problems in Japan too but for exactly the opposite reasons!

Immigration and welfare are not the problems that they're made out to be in the slightest by the UK media; they're easy (and totally false) scapegoats to distract from tax evaders and corporate strangleholds. If anything, Japan is a great example of if those "problems" didn't exist.

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Immigration and welfare are not the problems that they're made out to be in the slightest by the UK media; they're easy (and totally false) scapegoats to distract from tax evaders and corporate strangleholds. If anything, Japan is a great example of if those "problems" didn't exist.

That's it, immigration and welfare aren't problems for me personally, just, as you say, they are always brought up as a problem whereas Japan shows how they are worse off in some ways with no immigration etc.

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This article is perhaps worth a read.

Japan’s low birthrate (are you listening Mr. Prime Minister?) is a result of exorbitant living costs, elevated stress and diminished confidence. Even after two decades of deflation, prices in Japan for everything from rent to food to entertainment remain among the highest in the world

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Having watched this, not bad, covered all the major points of the demographic problem and why Japan has such a problem fixing it, the country is like the canary in the coalmine for everyone else in the industrialised world as to what is to come. They are exploring a country with the exact opposite problem next.

Obvious answer is Carousel.

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All I kept thinking was "they should send Karl to Japan.."

Karl_Pilkington_2008_cropped.jpg

They did.

http://www.seejapan.co.uk/jnto_trade/news_detail/13-10-19/Karl-Pilkington-Back-in-Japan

Karl Pilkington has been back to Japan to film part of yet another unorthodox travel documentary television series. Starting on Sky1 from Sunday, 20 October, Karl’s new series, The Moaning of Life will see the now very well-travelled Karl experience how other cultures face up to some of life's biggest issues, while at the same time planning for his own future. Unlike An Idiot Abroad, The Moaning of Life sees Karl actually choosing where he will visit and the issues he will explore. Karl Pilkington has turned 40, he’s now officially 'middle-aged' and he's ready to re-assess his life and look at things a little differently.

Karl will explore five topics over the course of the series – Marriage, Happiness, Kids, Vocation and Death, travelling to places such as the USA, India, Japan, South Africa, Mexico and Taiwan. There he will meet a range of people from all walks of life as he looks at the different ways their cultures celebrate or deal with what life throws at them.

I've been on the planet for 40 years now, and I'm still none the wiser as to what it's all about really, Karl said. "I've never worried about life's big questions. People at my age sit about pondering about 'why are we here?' The only time I ever asked meself that is when Suzanne booked us a surprise holiday to Lanzarote."

Karl goes to Japan in two episodes, Kids (airing Sunday, 3 Nov on Sky1) and Vocation and Money (airing Sunday, 10 Nov on Sky1).

In the Kids episode, Karl sets off on a journey around the world in an attempt to understand why people have kids. Karl’s trip begins in Japan where he attends a traditional fertility festival centred around a parade of giant phalluses, before he finds out whether he’s even capable of having kids by getting his sperm tested. In Vocations and Money, Karl starts by meeting an 85-year-old inventor in Japan who attempts to teach Karl how to be a genius. Failing that Karl tries his hand as an traditional Japanese odd-job man.

The Moaning of Life is now showing at 9pm on Sunday nights on Sky 1 . For those who missed Karl Pilkington in Japan for An Idiot Abroad, here’s a clip of him

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It would seem that this was basically the first part of a trilogy, as there is another one next week about the general subject of population growth.

The most odd fact I learnt from this week's episode was that Filipinos have a thing about whitened armpits on women, had to Google to see if it was true, and yep, women giving advice on how to whiten their pits. I suppose getting nowhere with a Filipino call centre worker is a slight improvement on getting nowhere with an Indian one (Dell and their great CS choices).

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