Almost half of marriages in Japan are sexless. That’s according to the latest survey by the Japan Family Planning Association (JFPA), with 48.3% of those who responded stating that they have sex zero times per month — which is the association’s definition of a sexless marriage.  

Reasons for Japan’s Sexless Marriages

The most common reason given by women for the lack of intercourse was that it’s simply “just too much hassle” (22.6%), followed by “tired from work” (20.8%) and “because of pregnancy or soon after giving birth” (13.2%).  

For 24.0% of the men who responded, the effort was there, but there was “a lack of a response from their partners.” The second-biggest reason was related to “childbirth” (14.7%), ahead of sex “not being worth the hassle” (12.0%). The survey was conducted between September and October last year. A total of 3,000 men and women aged between 16 and 49 were randomly selected, with 793 of those providing valid responses. Since the questionnaire was first taken in the early 2000s, the number of respondents saying they were in a sexless marriage has continued to rise.   

Celibacy Syndrome  

While data suggests people in several other countries are having less sex too, Japan’s so-called “celibacy syndrome” has been making headlines for years. There was even a short BBC documentary about it titled No Sex Please, We’re Japanese, released in 2013. On Tuesday, former Liberal Democratic (LDP) member Megumi Kaneko spoke about the issue on the Tokyo MX information program Barairo DandyShe said that even those who think sex with their partner is troublesome “should try to do it, even just a little bit, as it is a good way to connect.” She also emphasized the importance of both people in the relationship making “a proper effort.”  

Kaneko served as a member of the House of Representatives for the LDP between 2012 and 2017. In 2016, after she became pregnant, her husband Kensuke Miyazaki, a fellow LDP member at the time, became the first representative to request paternity leave in Japan. He soon resigned, however, after it was revealed that he’d had an affair during her pregnancy.

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