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Thu Jan 1, 2015, 11:45 AM

Japan’s sexual apathy is endangering the global economy


(Washington Post) People in Japan are so averse to romantic relationships that the country's media even has a name for it: sekkusu shinai shokogun, or "celibacy syndrome," according to a widely circulated Guardian story on the country's low rates of marriage, childbearing and even sex.

But this is more than a story about Japan and its cultural quirks: It's a story about the global economy. Japan is the world's third-largest economy, a crucial link in global trade and a significant factor everyone else's economic well-being. It owns almost as much U.S. debt as does China. It's a top trading partner of the U.S., China and lots of other countries. The Japanese economy is in serious enough trouble that it could set the rest of us back. And the biggest source of that trouble is demographic: Japanese people aren't having enough kids to sustain a healthy economy. One big reason they're having fewer kids is that they're not as interested in dating or marrying one another, in part because they're less interested in sex.

Here are a few of the statistics, some from the Guardian story and others from a 2011 report by Japan's population center:

• Extremely high numbers of Japanese do not find sex appealing. 45 percent of women and 25 percent of men, ages 16 to 24, are "not interested in or despised sexual contact."

.....(snip).....

• More than a third of childbearing-age Japanese have never had sex: 39 percent of women and 36 percent of men, ages 18 to 34. That number hasn't actually changed much over the last decade, but it is unusually high. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/10/22/japans-sexual-apathy-is-endangering-the-global-economy/



107 replies, 11935 views

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Reply Japan’s sexual apathy is endangering the global economy (Original post)
marmar Jan 2015 OP
WhiteTara Jan 2015 #1
daleanime Jan 2015 #3
KittyWampus Jan 2015 #87
WhiteTara Jan 2015 #95
Blue_Adept Jan 2015 #2
Kber Jan 2015 #4
otohara Jan 2015 #10
Boreal Jan 2015 #31
davidpdx Jan 2015 #60
Boreal Jan 2015 #32
Jeffersons Ghost Jan 2015 #43
Boreal Jan 2015 #44
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #81
Boreal Jan 2015 #71
Bonobo Jan 2015 #72
Boreal Jan 2015 #75
Bonobo Jan 2015 #84
betsuni Jan 2015 #104
Boreal Jan 2015 #107
Cayenne Jan 2015 #5
randome Jan 2015 #16
Boreal Jan 2015 #34
Cayenne Jan 2015 #41
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #52
Mariana Jan 2015 #79
Boreal Jan 2015 #80
Lancero Jan 2015 #6
RKP5637 Jan 2015 #55
bhikkhu Jan 2015 #7
NewDeal_Dem Jan 2015 #8
Boreal Jan 2015 #35
NewDeal_Dem Jan 2015 #40
HERVEPA Jan 2015 #56
LittleBlue Jan 2015 #9
RandySF Jan 2015 #11
otohara Jan 2015 #12
yuiyoshida Jan 2015 #13
otohara Jan 2015 #17
yuiyoshida Jan 2015 #20
RandySF Jan 2015 #39
Bonobo Jan 2015 #70
yuiyoshida Jan 2015 #97
Bonobo Jan 2015 #99
yuiyoshida Jan 2015 #106
Jamastiene Jan 2015 #76
L0oniX Jan 2015 #89
Bonobo Jan 2015 #53
yuiyoshida Jan 2015 #59
KittyWampus Jan 2015 #90
callous taoboy Jan 2015 #100
yuiyoshida Jan 2015 #15
RandySF Jan 2015 #37
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #23
rickford66 Jan 2015 #30
Warpy Jan 2015 #36
Boreal Jan 2015 #42
Boreal Jan 2015 #66
L0oniX Jan 2015 #86
treestar Jan 2015 #14
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #22
treestar Jan 2015 #29
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #33
Silent3 Jan 2015 #18
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #21
Silent3 Jan 2015 #64
chrisa Jan 2015 #58
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #19
yuiyoshida Jan 2015 #24
Bonobo Jan 2015 #46
yuiyoshida Jan 2015 #47
Warren DeMontague Jan 2015 #48
Bonobo Jan 2015 #49
yuiyoshida Jan 2015 #61
Bonobo Jan 2015 #62
yuiyoshida Jan 2015 #63
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #65
Bonobo Jan 2015 #67
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #69
Kuroneko Jan 2015 #88
sendero Jan 2015 #26
dilby Jan 2015 #25
exboyfil Jan 2015 #57
dilby Jan 2015 #94
Bonobo Jan 2015 #98
betsuni Jan 2015 #101
JI7 Jan 2015 #27
Cayenne Jan 2015 #51
on point Jan 2015 #28
smirkymonkey Jan 2015 #54
rug Jan 2015 #38
betsuni Jan 2015 #45
Bonobo Jan 2015 #50
Boreal Jan 2015 #74
NuclearDem Jan 2015 #68
betsuni Jan 2015 #77
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #82
MFrohike Jan 2015 #73
eridani Jan 2015 #78
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #83
Name removed Jan 2015 #85
lostnfound Jan 2015 #91
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #92
Orrex Jan 2015 #93
joeybee12 Jan 2015 #96
Jesus Malverde Jan 2015 #102
DiverDave Jan 2015 #103
Renew Deal Jan 2015 #105

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 12:20 PM

1. Simple answer

stop forcing women to choose between careers and family. Of course, that would require a change of society and we know how that goes.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 01:35 PM

3. Definitely.....

part of the solutions needed. Also need to be more open to immigration in addition to other social changes.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 11:14 AM

87. humans beings did not evolve to be truly effective multi-taskers. We do it, but we don't do

 

We don't do more than one thing well at a time.

Women AND men can do it all… just not at once. Which means choice. Which means finding a partner willing to be supportive of ones choice.

And then there's the societal mountain to climb where parents are given real support by the State.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #87)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 01:17 PM

95. Key word is Choice and women are not given a Choice

when told they can do either or, but not both. Your judgements should not be the defining point for any sentient being.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 12:21 PM

2. Ah, the fun of these articles

Pretty much anyone that I do work with that's involved with Japan laughs at these pieces because they tend to not understand a lot of what's going on. So much fear and panic to make good copy with.

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Response to Blue_Adept (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 01:47 PM

4. So what, do you think is going on?

I completely agree that this and other similar articles are oversimplifying, at best.

I'm not very familiar with Japanese culture, but would but be curious to hear a more nuanced view.

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Response to Blue_Adept (Reply #2)


Response to otohara (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:46 PM

31. Will look for that documentary

 

Thanks for the tip.

Japan fascinates me. So much to be admired and so much that is downright bizarre. I've never understood the crazy fashion with the baby doll outfits and the Hello Kitty weirdness.

Saw an Anthony Bordain episode, in Tokyo which spent a lot of the show on their sexual fetishes, as well as what you mentioned. Showed those places where people spend huge money to be complimented and fawned over and it did not involve any sex. It was about the mental trip. They talked to a guy who was some sort of master at tying knots, which there is a name for, though I can't recall what it was. People go to them to be tied up and stung up but there didn't seem to be a torture component or any sex. Mainly just bondage. Then they covered manga. Girls and young women (straight, presumably) are obsessed with the boy on boy manga, while boys and men like the EXTREMELY violent stuff that includes what I would put in the realm of serial killers, like chopping people up. It's all completely socially acceptable.

The take away, for me, was one of a very emotionally repressed society that seeks sensation and feeling through the extreme, though most is mental. I found it very sad. As weird as it all was, dunno if they're any more out there than in Amerika where porn is an obsession and, *I think*, crime is much higher. Would like to know more about it. Maybe you know.

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Response to Boreal (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 11:41 PM

60. That was a good episode

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Response to otohara (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:50 PM

32. Full film on Youtube

 

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Response to Boreal (Reply #32)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 08:03 PM

43. Whatever... this small problem is better than female infanticed in China!

Any government willing to overlook the murder of new-born, female babies, simply because they cannot do heavy lifting in fields and factories has a bigger problem than this OP describes.

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Reply #43)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 08:22 PM

44. It's not a small problem

 

when people are suffering emotionally and spiritually. I agree about China but that's another thread and doesn't negate any other culture's problems.

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Response to Boreal (Reply #32)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 09:43 AM

81. Great video..ARIGATO!



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Response to Blue_Adept (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 03:22 AM

71. This great article

 

posted by another DUer, from someone in Japan, confirms what's in the OP:

http://japaneseruleof7.com/sex-in-japan/

Nothing to laugh at.

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Response to Boreal (Reply #71)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 03:27 AM

72. For more great articles, check out his sublime "How Japan Made me Gay".

http://japaneseruleof7.com/how-japan-made-me-gay/

Listen, I have met dozens of these embittered foreigners here. The guy is writing from a serious place of pain and unhappiness I am sure, but these are not fair-minded analyses of the culture. It is little more than a blog by a dude trying to attract attention. If that is where you want to get your cultural information, go crazy. But let's not say it is a great article about Japanese culture, ok?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #72)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 04:51 AM

75. Fair enough

 

I've never been to Japan and you live there so you have a perspective that an outsider does not. IOW, you ought to know I'd rather not believe it's as grim as he makes it out because it's so sad. I was inclined to believe it after watching Anthony Bordain in Tokyo which said pretty much the same. That coupled with reading about so many leaving small towns and the countryside for the urban rat race seemed to paint a picture of the self destruction of a way of culture and people. I'm glad to hear your more positive perspective.

On that blog, did you read the long comment from Madeline? Curious what your opinion is on that.

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Response to Boreal (Reply #75)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 10:47 AM

84. I didn't read her comments. nt

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Response to Boreal (Reply #71)

Sat Jan 3, 2015, 08:52 AM

104. Thank you for that link, I like it!

Much more entertaining than the typical mommy blogs of foreign women in Japan.

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Response to betsuni (Reply #104)

Sat Jan 3, 2015, 04:49 PM

107. Yes. he's very funny

 

The latest entry on his parking space is hilarious. Quoting his real estate agent:

“Oh, the funds contract bank frequently routed parking deposit money moving customers transfer everything’s fine,” she said, and stood there smiling.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Sometimes my Japanese isn’t so good. It sounded like you just said random words that don’t actually add up to a sentence.

So she said it slower. “Banks sometimes parking lot customers utilize temporary monthly fee until companies but it’s no problem.

“Temporary monthly fee until companies but it’s no problem?” I said.

“No problem at all,” she said, nodding.




It was another DUer who posted the link. I just re-posted it.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 02:28 PM

5. Why shouldn't Japan's population contract?

Japan is overcrowded anyway. Growth serves the rich but it does not serve the ecology. I say let Japan manage it's population implosion. The world needs Japan's 'problem'.

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Response to Cayenne (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 05:48 PM

16. Damned right.

 


[hr][font color="blue"][center]Don't ever underestimate the long-term effects of a good night's sleep.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to Cayenne (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 07:09 PM

34. Have you been to Japan?

 

Other than the tragedy of Fukushima, what do you do about Japan's ecology or environment? They have a far lower population density than the Netherlands. Should the Dutch also unbreed themselves out of existence? How about Puerto Ricans? They, too, have a much denser population.

It's not about population. It's about environmental practices and how wisely resources are used. The world is a huge place and most of it is very lightly populated. Humans just like to cram themselves in dense clusters.

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Response to Boreal (Reply #34)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 07:56 PM

41. No,

I do get that they are good stewards of the land, it is in the culture. At over 200 Mil they are hardly in danger of breading themselves out. Neither are the Dutch (I have a drop of Dutch). At some point a culture change might occur where they find a new accommodation between grass eaters and salarymen.

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Response to Cayenne (Reply #41)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 10:41 PM

52. 127 million

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Response to Boreal (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 06:09 AM

79. No one said the Japanese should

"unbreed themselves out of existence" and it's frankly dishonest to imply that anyone did.

You seem to think a reduction of the population is a bad thing. What, exactly, do you think should be done to prevent it?

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Response to Mariana (Reply #79)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 06:37 AM

80. Any culture that doesn't have a replacement birth rate

 

will die out. It's not rocket science. Frankly, I find suggestions about Japan being "overpopulated" and needing to "contract" to be racist and Malthusian. Do not presume to tell me what I am being genuine about.

A natural decline in a population just "is". A socially engineered reduction would be something else but that doesn't seem to be the case. I don't propose that anything should be done. The Japanese will either live on or disappear as other cultures before them have. That would be a great loss, imo. I value diversity.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 02:34 PM

6. The world should look to them as a example...

We have a country that is moving away from the opinions that a man HAS to have a woman to appear successful and that a woman HAS to have a man to be happy.

It's great that a country is finally shunting these ideals - The world will be a better place without them.

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Response to Lancero (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 11:05 PM

55. +++ 1,000 +++ n/t

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 02:37 PM

7. A "healthy economy" is not necessarily one that grows exponentially

...one thing economists might eventually come to realize. On a finite planet, at some point, we will do best to embrace sustainability rather than growth.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 03:09 PM

8. The media is constantly pushing this line about the danger of shrinking population while simulta-

 

neously pushing the opposite line about the danger of expanding populations.

Normally the dangerous expanding populations are in the third world/colored populations, while the dangerously shrinking ones are in the first world/white populations.

Its all FUD and lies.

Look at rich people's childbirth patterns.

carlos slim has 6 kids, bill gates has 3, warren buffett has three.

Rich people have MORE children than average, and use waaaay more resources.



In Tina Fey’s recent piece in The New Yorker, she writes that elite Manhattanites seem to be trying to outpopulate the rest of us:

I thought that raising an only child would be the norm in New York, but I’m pretty sure my daughter is the only child in her class without a sibling. All over Manhattan, large families have become a status symbol. Four beautiful children named after kings and pieces of fruit are a way of saying, “I can afford a four-bedroom apartment and $150,000 in elementary-school tuition fees each year. How you livin’?”

Steven Martin, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, is one of the few people to cough up actual numbers on the issue. “Families in the top 10 percent or even top 5 percent of household earnings aren’t having detectably larger families,” he wrote in 2008. But the story is different for Americans in the top 1 to 1.5 percent: “There has been a significant rise in the proportion of three- and four-child families among the super-rich.” In another analysis, he notes that the proportion of affluent American families with four or more kids increased from 7 percent in 1991-1996 to 11 percent in 1998-2004.

http://grist.org/population/2011-03-03-are-rich-americans-having-more-kids/


Meanwhile, ordinary americans are having fewer kids:

Average Americans are certainly having fewer kids these days — in 2009, the birthrate in the U.S. hit its lowest point in a century — probably in large part because of the tenuous economic times. If you’re out of a job or underemployed or even simply worried about your economic future, you might think twice before having a(nother) child, considering that it can cost well north of $200,000 to raise a kid just until the age of 18.

But the recession doesn’t seem to be hurting those hedge-fund managers, so the super-rich might still be procreating at a higher rate than the rest of us. Hell, they might even be having an easier time hiring their armies of nannies because the job market is so tight.

The average American slurps up more resources than almost everyone else on the planet, and the mega-rich blow the average American out of the water in terms of consumption and environmental impact — collecting all the latest fashions and gadgets, flying by private jet to Jackson Hole and St. Barts, sprawling out into multiple massive homes.

http://grist.org/population/2011-03-03-are-rich-americans-having-more-kids/


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Response to NewDeal_Dem (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 07:20 PM

35. The overpopulation myth

 

was concocted by the elite for the elite. It's the "useless eaters" they want rid off - leaving enough for servants and worker bees, of course.

Some time ago I was reading through remarks by some uber rich big wigs in the environmental movement (Sierra Club and the like) and people would be shocked to know how a lot of these people think. Many of them have declared open disdain for the 99.99% of the world, including saying like it would be a disaster if the poor every had access to clean and free energy because they would all want a higher standard of living.

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Response to Boreal (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 07:34 PM

40. I believe it. And I believe they'd gladly get rid of us as soon as they have enough production

 

requiring few enough laborer to take care of all their needs.

I've been around some of those SOBs and they are utterly without kindness or empathy. And they're stupid as well.

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Response to Boreal (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 11:05 PM

56. sierra Club and the like? How about some examples instead of the bullshit.

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 03:16 PM

9. Japan is massively overpopulated

 

Honshu has about half the land area of California and 103m people living on it. Perhaps this is the natural balance that the universe intends.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 03:42 PM

11. Here is a very good article about why the Japanese are apathetic about sex.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #11)


Response to otohara (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 05:26 PM

13. Wow that was brutal...

I think I would rather live in the states, than In Japan...that was so messed up. I feel for both those guys and ladies..but that was seriously messed up. Those guys are so damaged emotionally and the girls... there, pretty much so.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #13)


Response to otohara (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 05:59 PM

20. I have a friend who is part

Japanese and Part Swedish, and she lives in Japan. She is so unhappy there and has never felt at home there ever. She has always talked about trying to find a way for her and her Husband to come to America.. she visited here once.. and was impressed with how different it is.

I have told friends, even though I am Japanese with a sprinkle of Hawaiian blood, I would never survive there, once I opened my mouth and spoke. I am too foreign to be there, and yet.. after seeing a film like that..I would never want to be.

People have this notion its like living in an Anime but its not. Even Jdorama is so different than what real life is like there, but it seems appealing. I guess it has to be to be entertaining to those who live there.

I have met too many people on line who want to go and live in Japan. I have warned them..but to no avail. I guess at some point harsh reality will set in on them that they made a mistake, if they do go and live there, especially being a foreigner.

My one friend told me every day, they asked him ..."So when will you be returning to America?" He has lived there eight years.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 07:30 PM

39. I've have Japanese friends from back in Detroit and here in SF...

and every last one of them became a loner as soon as they came to the states. They love living, eating, shopping and even going to the movies alone because they have personal space that they never had in Japan.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 02:54 AM

70. The Japanese that of to the states are a subset and a bad example to generalize with because there

is generally something about them that pre-selects them among those that don't do well with the society of Japan.

THAT is why they left. So you are essentially asking a group of people that already have problems with their home country and getting a distorted view.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #70)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 01:21 PM

97. Bonobo san,

My Sensei is from Japan. He left because he is gay and because he is also half Korean. He was born in Japan. My other friend is a lesbian. She had to leave Japan too... But I suppose there are Haters everywhere. Maybe coming to the USA was a bad idea, but perhaps more people are tolerant of Lesbian and Gays then in Japan.. if that is changing great... but they had to leave..

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #97)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 06:18 PM

99. Yes I understand your point.

japan has a long way to go but there was a gay marriage recently between two female celebrities.

http://www.tokyohive.com/article/2014/12/ichinose-ayaka-to-hold-a-wedding-ceremony-with-her-girlfriend-sugimori-akane

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #99)

Sat Jan 3, 2015, 04:01 PM

106. cute couple!

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 05:27 AM

76. I would love to visit, but not to stay.

I have always wanted to visit Japan to do the usual tourist stuff and to check out the woodworking. I've always loved Sashimono woodworking. My aunt was stationed in Japan back when she was a WAC in the US Army. She brought back gifts from friends and wow, the woodworking is amazing. She was also given a seppuku knife by her Japanese host family. Apparently, they had host families back then. I'm not sure how it works now. She gave most of that stuff to me when I started showing an interest in Japanese stuff.

I have always wanted to visit Japan, but I doubt I could live there even if I wanted to. I heard it is very expensive compared to the US. I live in a rural area in the US and it is cheap to live here compared to the rest of the US. So, I could never afford it.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 11:23 AM

89. Can't figure out why my fav guitar player Marty Friedman lives there but he does draw a huge crowd.

 

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 11:03 PM

53. That documentary is about a club in Dotonbori, the most disgusting place in Osaka if not all Japan

It is so extremely seedy that it doesn't feel like Japan at all. And I have had Japanese friends say exactly the same thing. It is beyong imagining frankly, like a cartoon version of what foreigners think of as Japan. But it has very little in common with the reality of Japan for most people.

It is a tourist spot that everyone goes to when they visit Osaka and as such has attracted an army of predatory hosts and hostesses who try to find horny older men and horny and sad women to drop some money on a night of fun.

It is as representative of Japan as the Las Vegas strip is representative of America. Would you think it appropriate to draw conclusions about America from visiting the seediest part of Las Vegas for one night and doing a documentary on it?

Would you conclude that Americans are like that, or that it shows how American relationships are?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #53)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 11:37 PM

59. Well information helps...

Not knowing much about the place or its reputation, one can draw all kinds of silly conclusions, context would be helpful when viewing a video like that.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 11:24 AM

90. So Japanese people are all so immaculately elegant they can't be seedy?

 

And pretty much every major American city in all 50 states has its own local version of the Las Vegas strip, so Las Vegas is certainly representative of a quantifiable segment of American culture.

"It is so extremely seedy that it doesn't feel like Japan at all"

LOLZ

And besides people who GO OUT to stip clubs and peep shows etc, there's what they do at home on their computers.

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Response to otohara (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 07:25 PM

100. Agree, great article. I'm almost ready

to pay for conversation myself. I'm being a little maudlin, but not by much.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 05:43 PM

15. So many people have told me they want to live in Japan

Like as if its some kind of Anime fantasy land..they really don't know what they are in for. They really and truly don't.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 07:25 PM

37. I don't even want to visit Tokyo for vacation.

Life there looks too stressful. I'd rather see the other cities and countryside.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:05 PM

23. Great article...

Again, this is a hard thing to reconcile if you don’t live in Japan, but being in a relationship and having sex have precious little to do with one another. For a Japanese male, it’s possible to get sex almost anywhere, at any time, for little more than the price of a decent lunch. Anyone who’s been in Japan for even a short while has seen the rows of shops offering all the usual services. (As an aside, I’ll add that “foreigners” aren’t allowed in. You can be that crazy dude who lives under a bridge and rides a bicycle with garbage bags full of tin cans hanging off the back, but as long as you’re “Japanese,” you’re good to go. But Japanese racism is a whole other subject.)




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Response to RandySF (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:41 PM

30. Maybe someone could explain their weird porn.

I've seen some similar to ours, the usual, but a couple times someone sent me links to a very different type. A room full, dozens actually, of young Japanese couples making love. Almost like a huge yoga class. No explanation or story attached.

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Response to rickford66 (Reply #30)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 07:25 PM

36. When your only choices are overwork at some company

and indentured servitude to a spouse you barely know and rarely see, added to an economy that has been kept in the doldrums for decades, it's no mystery why young Japanese feel so hopeless they don't even want to hook up unless it's with an anonymous stranger for money.

The sex rooms don't surprise me, at all, with no explanation, story...or future, which I suppose is the whole point. The porn doesn't surprise me (and yes, I've seen some of it) because there has to be a lot of anger attached to it.

Nobody would want to bring children into a joyless, emotionally disconnected, overworked culture with no better future in sight.

Young people here in the US are still interested in sex, even if marriage doesn't particularly appeal to them. I suppose even that will go by the wayside if this country keeps on imitating the worst parts of the Far East in general, Japan in particular.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 08:02 PM

42. Thanks for that. nt

 

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Response to RandySF (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 01:39 AM

66. Comments below the blog entry

 

Scroll down and read the long one from Madeline. OMG, I almost cried. It's awful. Makes me wonder how many of the towns destroyed by the tsunami (not the meltdown affected area) will ever come back.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 11:10 AM

86. Pretty sad and pathetic.

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 05:40 PM

14. That articles basically says the economy is hurt when people don't have kids

Japan is already very crowded.

We have to find ways to keep the economy good without having to have more and more people, as we are running out of room.

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Response to treestar (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:01 PM

22. Japan is crowded

In major cities, rural areas have seen steep declines in population and are not crowded.

20% of Japanese houses are empty.

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Reply #22)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:33 PM

29. Thanks did not know that

I recall learning in school and seeing a film about the density but that was a long time ago.

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Response to treestar (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:53 PM

33. Its strange the transition from urban areas to countryside agricultural areas is abrupt.

Your driving along in the city, next almost instantly your surrounded by small farms. There are not sprawling suburbs.

Another issue is because of seismic activity some areas can't be built on.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 05:53 PM

18. I blame it on hentai.

Particularly tentacle porn.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:00 PM

21. That dates back to 1814 so no dice with that theory...

The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife

I suspect you were joking anyway..

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 12:37 AM

64. I'm sure if I work at it...

...I can find something in Japan that's been in decline since 1814.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #18)


Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 05:56 PM

19. Missing from this story is that a Japanese family doesn't work with shitty part time job

The traditional Japanese family has the wife at home, the husband working full time with incredibly insane hours. The husband turns over his paycheck to the wife and she manages the household and child raising.

Japanese women, for their part, often avoid romantic relationships because Japanese laws and social norms can make it extremely difficult for women to have both a family and a career. Japan is extremely unusual in that it is highly educated and wealthy but still has some of the worst systemic gender inequality in the world; it has a European-style economy but South Asian social family mores. Professional women are stuck in the middle of that contradiction. It's not just that day-care programs are scarce: Women who become pregnant or even just marry are so expected to quit work that they can come under enormous social pressure to do so and often find that career advancement becomes impossible. There's a word for married working women: oniyome, or "devil wives."


If you have no paycheck to turn over your not a good prospect as a husband.

Having children outside of marriage is not done here, abortion is not stigmatized and Abortion is accepted. "Hooking up" is done with sex workers, Japan has a fairly vibrant sex industry.

Obviously if asked people might be reluctant to admitting to hooking up with sex workers, so surveys about "sex" are more likely to be interpreted as asking have you had "married sex".

Within married families, 1-2 children is the norm.

We would see similar trends in the united states without immigration. There is negligible immigration to japan, mostly workers with temp visas.

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:12 PM

24. Hence the phrase...

Yūshoku, o furo, beddo.

Dinner, bath, Bed.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 09:38 PM

46. The phrase is:

飯風呂寝る meshi, furo, neru

And the level of ignorance on this thread is massive. So much false info that it's impossible to know where to start.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #46)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 09:44 PM

47. Thank you for the correction...

I couldn't remember the phrase exactly, but I had heard it before.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #46)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 09:52 PM

48. I'd say the wheels have come off the bus, but I think that is an insult to wheel-less buses.

There's a lot of stuff I see here these days that I have to think is a deliberate put-on, or something like it.

Anyway, Happy New Year.
This is the DU member formerly known as Warren DeMontague.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #48)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 10:04 PM

49. It's crazy the confidence with which people say "The problem with Japan is...."

As if they would have ANY BASIS for making such a formulation! Good lord, the ridiculous self-confidence and hubris! I have lived in Japan for over 10 years, speak the language almost like a native, have 3 kids in public schools here, a Japanese wife of over 20 years. I have been PTA president, am a volunteer fireman here and even I would never be so fucking arrogant as to say "The problem with Japan is...".

If anyone wants to learn about Japan, this would not be the thread to do so on although there is some truth sprinkled in among the overwrought opinions and projections.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #49)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 11:50 PM

61. By the way, have you seen

Art_from_Ark on DU? I haven't seen him posting in a while.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #61)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 12:22 AM

62. No, but I spend only a tiny fraction of the time here that I used to. nt

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #62)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 12:24 AM

63. ah, okay...

Thank you!

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #49)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 01:22 AM

65. Curious what you think the reason people are not creating

families like they used to?

Are Japanese disinterested in sex?

Are "Herbivores" a phenomena? If so whats behind it.

Great to hear you have integrated well into the community. I love Japan but have no expectation of being accepted as anything other than a foreigner.

Thanks!

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Reply #65)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 01:48 AM

67. I am accepted AND I am a foreigner.

The expectation of being treated exactly as everyone else is a bit weird when you think of it realistically. I will always be a foreigner here but that does not mean something bad necessarily.

No, Japanese are not disinterested in sex. The economy is bad and Japanese are used to having multiple generational households. When they go urban, they do not have the economic means to have large families for a few reasons: Their apt. size, their income, the fact that they are alone away from their extended family, etc.

Herbivores are a phenomena. I think many women and men have calculated that marriage and kids is too much of a drain on their limited resources. And as I said elsewhere, the demands for a family are high. Everything must be done right when it comes to being a mom and dad. The pressure to do everything right is strong here. And thee days, kids don't feel as able to live up to those high standards as their parents.

That is my overly simplified explanation. I could go on and on with details and examples, but that's it in a nutshell.

It has nothing to do with abhorrence of sex, disinterest in sex, awkwardness with the other sex, timidity or anything else.

It is economically driven combined with the high demands for social conformity ("keeping up with the Joneses' syndrome).

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #67)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 02:43 AM

69. Thank you

I appreciate your insight.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #67)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 11:19 AM

88. I don't think that it's only an economic problem

From what I see from our friends and family, it's often a combination of too high expectations from women combined with the "weakness" from men. I know that weakness it's a little bit harsh, but at I'm loss at this hour to find a better word. To give an example, I find the husband of Saze-san to be a good representation of the current generation, except that he'll be on the strong side by the current standard.

Anyway, as the time past and people are going to their 40s, a lot of them reduce their expectation and finish by being married.
Another point, it's now common for the women to get a part-time job, as it's becoming difficult to get a middle-class life with only one salary.

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Response to Jesus Malverde (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:19 PM

26. The problem in Japan..

... is economic, not cultural or a lack of interest in sex.

No job prospect? No sex partner prospect.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:17 PM

25. I think the major issue Japan will face will be a shortage of people to take care of their elderly.

Japan is working hard to resolve this potential problem with their robotics program but as things are currently going there just wont be enough young to take care of the old.

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Response to dilby (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 11:19 PM

57. I got to wonder about the whole robot thing

I wonder if eventually they will relax their immigration standards and allow foreign CNA types work in the country.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #57)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 11:45 AM

94. The Japanese are deeply Nationalists.

My ex-wife was Japanese and some of the stuff she said would make my head explode especially about Asians from other countries. Seriously she would have made a Right-winger guarding the boarder in Arizona proud about her views on Japan and why they should not let foreigners into their country.

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Response to dilby (Reply #94)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 06:13 PM

98. Extremely untrue.

You should not assume that based on your very limited examples.

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Response to dilby (Reply #94)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 11:33 PM

101. And now PM Abe wants to reform education to "instill patriotism in schoolchildren ...

and urges a more sympathetic retelling of Japan's wartime misdeeds." I didn't meet my husband's family until a few years after we got married because father-in-law wouldn't allow an American in the house. His beloved older brother died in a Siberian prison camp after the war so I thought technically he should've been madder at Russians, but then I found out he believed the U.S. started the war in the first place for no reason. WW2, my bad! My husband's boss keeps sending him far-right nationalist reading material (the guy knows I'm foreign but admires the U.S., Americans are okay because they're strong and beat Japan in the war, other foreigners not okay, especially Chinese and Koreans -- they're all criminals and have garlic breath). My mother-in-law confessed that if I'd been blonde it would've freaked her out too much and she didn't think she could've accepted me. It's always something...

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:25 PM

27. maybe they need to be more open to immigration

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Response to JI7 (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 10:39 PM

51. to what end?

They have been given a opportunity to reduce their population fairly painlessly.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 06:30 PM

28. They are having enough kids to support healthy economy. Just not run away capitalist one.

fact is every country should be shrinking its population. That is not only healthy for the planet, but also for that society too. Fact is with fewer people there more resources available for people.

However, it does hurt growth at any cost capitalism. That is probably o good thing for the planet and society too, except for those at the top, but that is another story.

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Response to on point (Reply #28)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 11:04 PM

54. Hear, hear!

I am tired of this insane trend toward constant growth. When will it be enough?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 07:26 PM

38. I blame it all on anime.

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 09:03 PM

45. The foreign women i know who teach at universities in Japan

ask young women in their classes about their hopes for the future and the majority of them say they want to be stay-at-home housewives, have kids. The majority of the young men say that if they marry they want to their wives to work because the burden of being the sole provider is too difficult -- no more lifetime employment, increase in part-time and contract work, and who wants to deal with the stress and unpaid overtime of being a full-time employee, anyway. Their teacher asks them, "So, guys, who are you going to marry then?"

I see commercials on TV: the product was something that gave mother more time to spend with her children. She's with her little girl and the girl says, "intelligent" then "probably going to be rich." At first viewing I assume her mother had asked her what she wanted to be like when she grew up. OF COURSE NOT. How Western of me. They were looking at pictures of the girl's classmates and her mother asked her which boy she liked and the girl was describing him, that she likes him because he's smart and the insinuation when she says he's probably going to be rich is that he'd be good husband. Then you can be a happy housewife like your mother!

Big difference between urban and rural, as has been pointed out. When I lived in a small city on the other coast of Japan, the rural one, the first thing I noticed was how many young married couples with kids there were and three kids not that unusual (they're obviously doing all the humping in the country). everything is so much cheaper. Second thing is how the older couples laughed and talked, as if they actually LIKED each other. If Japan had only gone through with their decentralization plans years ago. What will happen when the old people die off and no more small-farm produce? They should be giving away land so young people can go into farming and traditional production of miso and soy sauce and things like that. A new Homestead Act. This would solve a lot of problems. Urban people are completely cut off from nature.

Also, nobody wants to marry oldest sons. Then you might end up, even if you insist you won't, taking care of his parents in their old age.

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Response to betsuni (Reply #45)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 10:24 PM

50. I agree with your observations about rural/urban.

Tokyo is not the rest of Japan but the countrysides have emptied out and so many are in Tokyo now.

It is impossible to make it there on one income and yet the view of women staying at home still remains as a vestigial remnant of better economic times.

The stress and strain of living in urban and expensive Japan surely takes some of the steam out of romance and the ability to date. Just too effin' busy and not enough money.

Also, with grandpa and grandma living in the boonies, there's none of the help with the kids that is needed like in the old days. That's why you see 3 kids in countryside families and a happy grandpa and grandma. THEY have their grandkids close and the mom and dad have some extra help (financial help too!).

So it isn't that they aren't humping in the city. They are. It is that they can't afford to have kids or even serious relationships. Women don't want a guy who can only afford 1LDK and ramen for dinner. Japanese have high expectations for what a まともな (proper) family should be like and it is not one of economic privation. So they choose no family until things get better (which they haven't in almost 20 years).

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #50)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 04:40 AM

74. If people are eshewing rural life

 

which I have heard for a long time, who will provide the food? Is there any national conversation about that? How about the inadvertent destruction of the family and who will take care of the old? Tragic when people think it will be the state because that's not a substitute for being cared for and loved. Though I don't know much about Japan, I'd heard (and was mentioned here) they had a tradition of extended family living together and reverence for elders. What do Japanese think about losing something traditional and important, or do they they think about it all?

Very interesting reading all of you who live or have lived in Japan. Many of these problems sure aren't unique to Japan but they seem to be more extreme there (at least according to what's being discussed here).

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 02:02 AM

68. MUST FUCK FOR CAPITALISM

 

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #68)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 05:43 AM

77. Close your eyes and think of Japan

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Response to betsuni (Reply #77)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 09:57 AM

82. heh



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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 04:04 AM

73. WaPo is trash

Seriously, the author is equating productivity with population. That's ridiculous on its face. He further goes on to claim that Japanese ownership of a small fraction of US debt is somehow scary if Japan has a financial crisis. Seriously? If Japan goes in the tank, the central bank will likely sell that debt to shore up the yen. Given that it's not even 10% of the total, its impact on the price of Treasuries, especially these days, would be pretty close to nothing.

WaPo is one of the most incompetent news sources on economic issues. Anything they print really should be sourced because it's inherently unreliable.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 05:49 AM

78. They're all living on a crowded island. Might that have something to do with it? n/t

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Response to eridani (Reply #78)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 09:58 AM

83. More so a society with well defined, unbendable roles...nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #85)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 11:32 AM

91. Welcome to DU.

Welcome.
You mention the Japanese divorce rate. I was curious what it was. This says one in three Japanese marriages now end in divorce, which is double what it was in 1970. I think the rate in the U.s. is about one in two.
http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat18/sub117/item616.html

This one shows it on a graph with marriage rate.
http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/handbook/c0117.htm


The fact that the big dropoff in marriage rate happened all at once between 1971 and 1975 kind of proves your point that it's about financial challenges, not attitudes about sex. The economy of a country can change in a year or two, but attitudes of a whole culture can't.

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Response to Name removed (Reply #85)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 11:35 AM

92. Welcome to DU.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 11:40 AM

93. They show a sizably greater-than-average rate of kaiju incursion, too.

Coincidence?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jan 2, 2015, 01:21 PM

96. Well, we all know who's to blame...

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Jan 3, 2015, 01:27 AM

102. Japan 2014 births fall to lowest on record

Deaths outnumbered births in Japan last year by the widest margin on record, underscoring the scale of the challenge facing the government as it tries to ensure a dwindling pool of workers can support growing ranks of pensioners.

The urgency of getting the country’s finances in order was highlighted this week as preliminary figures indicated that Japan’s population fell by a record 268,000 in 2014.

According to the data published by the ministry of health, labour and welfare, births slipped by 2.8 per cent to a low of 1m, while deaths rose fractionally to a high of 1.27m.

Since becoming prime minister a little more than two years ago, Shinzo Abe has forced the central bank to adopt more radical yen-weakening policies to spur inflation while allowing the first rise in consumption tax since 1997.

Such measures are aimed at containing the government’s vast debts, which have swelled to more than twice the size of the economy amid rapidly rising payments for health and social security.


http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/1ddfad50-9269-11e4-b213-00144feabdc0.html

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Jan 3, 2015, 05:23 AM

103. WOW! This is HUGH!!@@!!

jesus, seriously?

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Response to DiverDave (Reply #103)

Sat Jan 3, 2015, 10:05 AM

105. There so many interesting and thoughtful posts in this thread

And then there's yours.

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