These claims about the lack of romance and relationships in Japan struck me as very surprising and downright depressing. Like Ansari, I figured Japanese dating culture would be thriving, especially considering Japan’s technological advancements and the prevalence of dating apps worldwide. I mean, look at America, for example. Any 23-year-old American female can make a Tinder account and be bombarded with messages from eligible bachelors. Sure, most of the bachelors are shamelessly creepy and are just looking to “hang out,” but there is still a plethora of romantic prospects out there for young American men and women.
Japanese birth rates
So why are Japanese birth rates plummeting? Why aren’t young Japanese people dating and having sex (like Ansari claims), getting married and having children? According to Jeff Kingston, a professor at Temple University, Japan Campus, it's due to a lack of attractive future choices for young Japanese people. Japan is still recovering from the economic impact of the 1991 crash and its subsequent “ lost decades.” These economic conditions have caused around 40 percent of the Japanese workforce to become “irregular,” meaning it’s increasingly common for men to work various part-time jobs for low salaries, rather than maintaining steady careers with good pay.
As job security decreases and Japanese men become less financially secure and career-driven, single Japanese women have become more ambitious and now make up 43 percent of the total Japanese workforce. In a country where 70 percent of working women in 2013 quit their jobs after having their first child, marrying a man who is unable to support a family due to his “irregular” job is becoming less and less attractive to young Japanese women.