Two rather similar stories come to my attention via Itainews, one alleging that Japanese youth are suffering from a decline in literacy and historical knowledge, and another asserting the Japan’s sex trade is facing dire straits because young men no longer have the sex drive they once had (presumably they are pursuing alternatives rather than abstinence, although the article doesn’t address this for reasons which will become obvious).
The claim of a decline in literacy and historical knowledge comes from film subtitlers complaining that their job is becoming harder due to young people not being able to read more obscure kanji, or read quickly, and that they can no longer assume their audience is aware of what terms like “Nazi” and “USSR” refer to; a familiar sort of claim in the world over.
The claim of reduced sex drive in young men is based on statistics showing an increase in “sexless” men (and of course the reduction in birth rate), and is provided by the JFPA (an organisation of clinics, in other words). Additionally, some interviews with writers in the sex industry also provide anecdotal evidence of young patrons not using brothels.
These stories are entertaining and attention grabbing (certainly their intent given the sources), but if I were to offer my own opinion, I would have to say they are nothing more than column inch shifting mass media fluff – you are probably familiar with the genre of “our youth is in decline” newspaper articles from your own local media, which usually assert some catastrophe is impending due to the decline in whatever, and I put it to you that millenarianism has always had its converts. As to the decline in lust, I think you need look no further than the people interviewed – it is hardly surprising that those who depend on clinics and brothels would be interested in asserting there is a problem – they have their sales to think of.