Porn and virtual girlfriends ‘significant factors’ in Japan’s low birth rate By the year 2065, 38% of the population will be aged 60.

The population of Japan is forecast to drop by about one third over the next 50 years, with some analysts concluding that online porn is partly to blame for its declining birthrate.

“2D characters can’t cheat, age, or die”: Japanese Akihiko Kondo spent two million yen ($17,600) on his “marriage” to a hologram of the virtual singer Hatsune Miku.

New figures published by the country’s Health Ministry predict that by the year 2065, about 38% of the population will be aged 60 or over while those aged 14 or under will account for only 10% of the nation.

Last February it was revealed that Japan’s population of 127 million had shrunk for the first time since records began. In 2016, fewer than one million babies were born despite attempts to boost the population via paternity leave, support for those seeking fertility treatment, and free preschool education.

Japan’s declining birth rate has troubled its politicians for years.

The anticipated fall in the number of taxpayers combined with a rise in pension payouts could spell serious economic danger for the country.

Some sociologists and observers have blamed the decline on a change in women’s lifestyles, whereby many want to focus on their career instead of having children. Stagnating wages are also held responsible for those of child-bearing age putting off the decision to start a family because of the associated expense.

The prevalence of online porn and the growing trend for virtual reality girlfriends are likewise considered to be significant factors in the drop in the number of pregnancies. Via Newsweek:

Japan is in crisis. Young adults are increasingly shunning romantic relationships, resulting in plunging birth rates and a declining population. It has reached the point that Japanese media has even come up with a name for it: sekkusu shinai shokogun—celibacy syndrome.

To fill this intimacy void, a Japanese firm has come up with a holographic companion that allows its owner to “enjoy a life with someone while still retaining your freedom.” Azuma Hikari, developed by Gatebox, offers similar services to virtual assistants developed by Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, but comes in a much more anthropomorphic form.

Hikari’s holographic projection resides in a 50cm glass tube and is described by Gatebox as a “comforting character that is great for those living alone.” Dressed in a miniskirt and knee high socks, Hikari’s target market appears to be lonely Japanese men.

One report published in 2016 claimed that 40% of young single men and women in Japan had never had sex.

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