Young single people in Japan aren’t having sex and the reason is proving fatal -- Sep 26
Almost half of single young men and women in Japan are virgins. Up to 70 per cent of millennials aren’t in a relationship but their desire to marry one day remains. In a country where birth rates are crashing, the stats have been blamed on everything from anime to porn and women not pulling their weight.

It's also the home of maid cafes and on a Sunday morning you can find young men hanging out, slouching against walls, waiting for them to open.

Inside, they'll be fawned over and called 'master' by women dressed as cute, frilly (you guessed it) maids.

Among these venues is Nadeshico Sushi, Japan's first sushi restaurant staffed entirely by women.

The name of the restaurant is a reference to the "ideal Japanese female" - a lady of tradition, of feminine grace and domesticity.

The woman who runs it, Yuki Chizui, has a good sense of humour.

"I can't help being a strong woman," the 31-year-old tells The Feed as she slices into raw fish.

The restaurant is a big deal in a country where women's hands are considered too warm to make sushi and their menstrual cycles are said to ruin a woman's sense of smell.

Her ambition to break down barriers for women in the workplace is not popular with potential suitors.

"I can find men, but the problem is I speak out a lot ... That somehow puts them off."

Yuki says that hasn't always been the case in Japan and the change has a lot to do with men facing job insecurity and falling wages.

"To keep their dignity, men want someone weaker than themselves, thin and frail, soft and feminine like the maid cafe girls."

Yuki Sushi Chef


Yuki is among around 60 per cent of young women aged 18-34 in Japan who are single. For men that figure is 70 per cent.

Many aren't having sex either. In fact, around 44 per cent of unmarried women and 42 per cent of unmarried men admit they are virgins, according to The 2015 National Fertility Survey, which is a kind of sex and relationship census conducted by the government every five years.

The Government has a keen interest in the findings - Japan's ageing population is shrinking.

In 2017, the number of births fell to its lowest since records began more than a century ago, resulting in the largest ever natural population decline of 403,000, a sizeable amount in a country of127 million.

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party MP Kato Kanji earlier this year commented that women should have multiple children, implying single women are a burden on the state.

But the reason so many are flying solo is not a generation turning its back on marriage and family: more than 85 per cent of men and women intend to marry.

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