A Japanese lawmaker blamed the country’s declining birth and marriage rate on people’s lack of “romantic ability.”
Narise Ishida, a policymaker from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party who serves in the Mie Prefectural Assembly, suggested during a Feb. 24 question and answer session that the government should consider “romantic ability” as a contributing factor to the country’s declining birth rate, according to The Mainichi.
Lack of ‘romantic ability’ blamed by assemblyman for Japan’s sliding marriage, birth rateshttps://t.co/4LjswxhJ3Z
— The Mainichi (Japan Daily News) (@themainichi) March 1, 2023
“The birth rate is not declining because it costs money to have children,” Ishida stated. “The problem is that romance has been seen as a taboo subject before marriage.”
Japan’s birth rate is in steep decline, with new births fell to 799,728 in 2022, down 5.1% from 2021, while deaths outnumbered births nearly two to one, The Japan Times reports. (RELATED: ‘Now Or Never’: Japan’s PM Sounds Alarm Over Collapsing Birth Rates)
One 2020 survey found that nearly half of Japanese men aged 20 to 34 who had not had sex in over a year expressed little to no interest in sex.
Elderly citizens compose a large portion of Japan’s population, and politicians have raised the alarm as a shrinking workforce and the increasing cost of elder care endanger the country’s economic health.
“Japan is standing on the verge of whether it can continue to function as a society,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at the Monday opening of the current parliamentary session. “Focusing attention on policies regarding children and child-rearing is an issue that cannot wait and cannot be postponed.”