Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Bizarre Problem Of Japan's Shrinking Population

Japan has an interesting and unique problem: Their population is bombing drastically. As of recent numbers, 21% of Japanese citizens are over the age of 65, and their birth rate just dipped below their death rate in recent years, meaning negative population growth.

 The Huffy-Poo estimates a one-third decline in population by 2060, while this Japan Times article declares that the population already shrunk by 75,000 in 2009.

While such things as overzealous family planning and factors which discourage large families have traditionally been to blame, this Escapist story makes the bold claim that the problem is, to put it bluntly, too many young males spending their time with anime and manga - in other words, too much gratification from cartoon porn instead of finding their gratification from actual flesh-and-blood women. (Yes, we know, there is more to manga and anime than porn - but come on, it isn't Mobile Suit Gundam or Deathnote that these guys would be using in place of a girlfriend.)

Still, if this is the real cause of the problem, one wonders what on Earth the females are doing. Are they just passively sitting at home watching the phone not ring? It takes two to tangle, you know.

This is also a possible omen for the rest of the human race. Japan is a first-world country. Are other first-world countries in danger of having their populations become so socially stunted that they can't manage to meet, mingle, and breed as well? Is there, in fact, a possible reverse-Malthusian disaster in our future?