No yen: 40pc of Japanese singletons are virgins
More than 40pc of young singletons in Japan are virgins, according to a new study that highlights concerns about the country's demographic challenges.
Japan already suffers from the world's oldest population and a shrinking birth rate, with the government struggling to incentivise marriage and parenthood.
Now a survey of unmarried people aged 18 to 34 found that around 42pc of men and 44.2pc of single women had never had sex.
The study is carried out by Japan's National Institute of Population and Social Security every five years.
The country's government has worked hard to boost the birth rate in recent years, providing incentives such as support for child care and tax breaks.
But the new data indicates that, if anything, Japanese men and women are growing apart.
The last time the study was conducted in 2010, only 36.2pc of men and 38.7pc of women said they were virgins. Nearly 90pc of the respondents said they want to get married "some time in the future."
But 30pc of the 2,706 men sampled and 26pc of the 2,570 female respondents said they were not currently looking for any sort of relationship.
"They want to tie the knot eventually. But they tend to put it off, as they have gaps between their ideals and the reality," said Futoshi Ishii, head researcher for the study.
The lack of sexual activity can seem at odds with a society saturated with sexual images, from television and manga comics to city billboards. (©Daily Telegraph, London)