MOSCOW, December 15 - RIA Novosti, Ksenia Melnikova. In Japan, the birth rate is falling rapidly, and young people are in no hurry to start families. And if a woman's fear of ruining her career is typical not only for the Land of the Rising Sun, then with men the situation is different. They, as the Japanese themselves note, have become "herbivores" and avoid intimate relationships. What their forces are spent on - in the material of RIA Novosti.
"One is calmer: I want to eat halva, I want - gingerbread"
"People are sure: the reason for the low birth rate is that the Japanese do not really want to have sex. They are happy and alone. There are many other interesting things: you can play on your phone, watch videos on the Internet, anime. There is simply not enough time for sex." - says a 25-year-old Japanese man who introduced himself as Yoshiro. People like him are called "herbivorous men" in the country.
Polina, a thirty-year-old Muscovite, who moved to Tokyo ten years ago, told RIA Novosti that there are many men in the country who not only do not want to get married, but simply enter into a relationship. "They, you know, are lazy. Besides, it will result in a pretty penny. It's easier, cheaper and emotionally calmer for one. There are people I know who are married or in a relationship, but this does not diminish the problems, they even talk about her on TV. The authorities say that there are a lot of lonely people ", - the girl shares her impressions.
At the same time, men who are interested in relationships but expect the first step from women are also referred to as "herbivores". Some sociologists call them "fish lovers" or "waiting men". "They are afraid to start the conversation first, they are very shy. They are afraid that women are becoming more financially independent every year. By the way, these men ask for a separate bill in the restaurant," Polina complains.
The Japanese media regularly conduct opinion polls. According to one of the latter, more than half of men between the ages of 20 and 30 are single. Sixty-one percent of those in their 20s and 70 percent of those in their 30s and older admitted to classifying themselves as "herbivores." Many of them are actively working, but there are those who have been nicknamed "parasaito singuru" - "parasite bachelor".
Parasites are commonly referred to as young people over the age of 20 who live with their parents and enjoy a carefree life at their expense. They can work part-time or spend time on hobbies, entertainment, and luxury items.
Sociologists explain the behavior of the "parasites" by the fact that they were born after the Japanese economic miracle, when the country was actively prospering: the unemployment rate did not exceed two percent, and offers from employers poured out like a horn of plenty. These prosperous children saw how their parents worked, but did not want to follow in their footsteps.
The lack of masculinity among the Japanese is also associated with the aftermath of World War II: since then, the country has not taken part in any military conflict. Men do not need to become soldiers, they have less "machismo" and aggressiveness.
The authorities blame "herbivorous" men, in particular "parasitic bachelors", for most of the country's economic and social problems. Many come to their defense, noting that these men are "kind and gallant, they do not want a romantic relationship, fearing disappointment or hurting another person."
However, it cannot be said that they are not interested in the opposite sex. They are simply not ready to play the traditional gender role: courting, winning hearts, taking initiative. Sometimes they are chosen by older self-sufficient women, considering such shyness in a relationship to be very cute.
Herbivores also avoid close relationships because they have too much work to do.The Japanese are considered a very hardworking nation: it is customary here to work 12 hours a day, and then "socialize" - go to bars with colleagues, drink and chat. Many people try not to take vacation or sick leave at all. "The Japanese are entitled to 20 days of vacation, while if you leave for two weeks at once, they will look at you crookedly, because this is considered bad form," Polina tells us.
Giving all their strength to work, the Japanese lose interest in sex, but with great pleasure they follow the novels of anime heroes. This phenomenon is called celibate syndrome. A few years ago, the Japan Family Planning Association (JFPA) published sensational data, according to which 45 percent of girls aged 16 to 24 "are not interested in or even averse to sexual intercourse."
The Japanese condom company Sagami conducted a public opinion poll. We were interested in how often the respondents have sex. It turned out that on average couples do this 2.8 times a month. Compared to a study conducted by Durex in 2005, this figure has only worsened - previously it was 3.75 times a month. At the same time, sociologists note, Durex polled the Japanese indiscriminately, and Sagami - only those who have sexual partners, otherwise this figure would have been even lower.
According to surveys by the same manufacturers, the Japanese, on average having sex 45 times a year, are in the last line in the world ranking. Singaporeans, who are one step higher, do this much more often - 73 times a year, while Greeks - 93 times.
A good deed will not be called a marriage
Sociologists are sure that Japanese women, who have achieved great career success, made men "herbivores". They themselves are not interested in relationships, because they are in no hurry to start a family.
The reasons why Japanese women postpone marriage are about the same as in Western countries. Modern women have received a good education, realize themselves in the profession and are becoming more and more financially independent. At the same time, there is one peculiarity in Japan: according to tradition, the interval between a wedding and the birth of a child should not be large, so women who are not ready for motherhood do not seek to get married.
And to give birth to children out of wedlock is not accepted here. If in the United States more than 40 percent of children are born to couples who have not officially registered their relationship, in Japan this figure is less than two percent.
Another tradition stands in the way of creating a family: the wife usually looks after children and household in Japan, the man helps her little. It is not surprising that it is very difficult for women in such a situation to combine work and family life. Japanese women have to put an end to the career in which they have invested so much effort.
Sitting at home with a child, they lose financial independence. In theory, her husband should be more than compensated for, but for most Japanese people who have not yet achieved serious career success, this also means postponing marriage until later.
However, even great financial opportunities can become an obstacle on the way to creating a Japanese family. After all, the higher the post a Japanese occupies, the more time he spends at work, the less energy he has left to build relationships. It turns out a vicious circle.
If earlier the 25th birthday was considered the ideal age for marriage for Japanese women, now this figure is closer to 30 years - and the bar of an acceptable age continues to shift.
All these trends have a negative impact on the demographic situation. The country has become a world leader in an aging population: fewer children are born, and more and more retirees. In the future, the problem can only worsen and lead to economic collapse. According to demographers, by the middle of the 21st century the number of Japanese people will decrease by 30 percent, which, of course, worries the state. As one of the measures, the government offered firms to hire 345,000 employees from abroad.Given the dislike of the islanders for guest workers, we can say that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went to extreme measures. But his choice seems to be small. And he himself cannot serve as a good example - the 64-year-old prime minister has no children, he devotes all his strength to work.