Japanese Lawmaker Blames Falling Birth Rate On Lack Of ‘Romantic Ability’

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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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.

“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.”