The country where half of all unmarried young people are virgins.


Japan is known to most as the country of gadgets, sushi and matcha – but it’s also quickly becoming a country of virgins.

Almost half of unmarried people aged under 34 have never had sex. And in a population of 127 million, that’s literally millions of adult virgins. What’s more, most of these twenty and thirtysomethings aren’t even in a relationship.

It’s a huge issue that has already started to affect the country – which is considered to have the oldest population in the world – with its birthrate at an all-time low.

So why are so many young people in Japan abstaining from sex and romance?

Well, according to an investigation by SBS’s The Feed, it may be just the symptom of a bigger problem.

Video by SBS The Feed

In a documentary airing Tuesday night, presenter Marc Fennell travels to Japan in an attempt to understand why there are so many sexless citizens.

One of the biggest causes, one man explained, is that young men are just too busy for sex.

Taiyo Hashimoto is a single 26-year-old who regularly works 15-hour days, taking only five-minute lunch breaks.

“The work is so busy, if people don’t have interest in getting girls they just don’t get girls and that’s why people are single,” he summarises.

Millions of young single people are virgins in Japan. Image: SBS

And as Fennell learns in Sex In Japan: Dying for Company, young people who are having sex actually aren't often doing it with a partner.

"It is very acceptable they have a big culture of guys in groups going to prostitutes and brothels. That is absolutely normal in Japan and to talk about who they had in their room."

The documentary also explores how prevailing sexism within Japanese culture is contributing to young people's solitude and singledom and how this trend is having fatal consequences.

You can watch Sex In Japan: Dying for Company on SBS Viceland at 7.30pm on Tuesday or catch up at SBS On Demand.