A new survey by the Japan family planning association found that nearly half of married couples had not had sex for more than a month and did not expect that to change in the near future.
The data on married couples were among the findings of a wider survey of 3,000 people aged between 16 and 49 conducted at the end of last year. The association received responses from more than 1,200 people, including 655 married men and women.
A record high 47.2% of married men and women said they were in sexless marriages, up 2.6 percentage points from the previous poll in 2014, the association said, and significantly higher than the 31.9% recorded when it conducted its first survey of the nation’s bedroom habits in 2004.
Among married men, 35.2% said that work left them “too tired” for intercourse – up dramatically from 21.3% in 2014 – while smaller numbers said they had come to see their wives solely as family members rather than as sexual partners, or that their sex lives had fizzled out after the birth of a child.
The government is expected to set an upper limit for overtime of around 60 hours a month in an attempt to address long working hours highlighted by the suicide of a 24-year-old employee of the advertising firm Dentsu who had worked more than 100 hours of overtime a month leading up to her death in late 2015.
A survey conducted last year suggested that Japan is experiencing a rise in the number of virgins.
If current trends persist, Japan’s population of 127 million is expected to drop to around 86 million by 2060.