Japan is facing a ticking time bomb, but it has nothing to do with disease, famine, war or natural disaster. The country and its government have been fretting for some time now over the steep population decline the country is facing. The problem stems from the younger generation in Japan is not having children, getting married or even having sex. Now, a recent study that was done by the country's National Institue of Population and Social Security Research (IPSS) shows how bad the problem is.

Japan's sex and romance issues

According to the study by the IPSS around 42% of men and 44.2% of women between the ages of 18 and 34 in Japan admitted to being virgins.

This is a jump from the last survey taken in 2010 when only 36.2% and 38.7% of women said that they were virgins. In that same age group, almost 70% of unmarried men and 60% of unmarried women said that they were not currently in a relationship. IPSS found that this increase was particularly high for people in their late 20s.

Almost 90% of Japanese in the said that they would like to get married "sometime in the future" however, 30% of men and 26% of women said that had no interest in currently looking for a relationship. It was also found that almost 25% of men and about 14% of women age 50 had never been married.

Trying to fix Japan's low fertility rate

Japan's current fertility rate sits at 1.4, which is one of the lowest in the world.

For comparison, the United States is currently at 1.9, with the ideal fertility rate being 2.0. The problem is even affecting married couples in Japan, as the average number of children for couples married between 15 and 19 years stands at 1.94, a record-low. At this rate, the IPSS predicted that Japan's population will face a steep decline by almost 40 million people by 2065.

This will also bring other problems, as there will not be enough young people to support an older population.

Last year the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare reported that the number of births dropped below one million for the first time. The death rate was also higher than the birth rate in Japan for the tenth straight year (since 2007) in 2016.

One of current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's desired goals it to increase the fertility rate to 1.8 by 2025. In order to try to accomplish this, the government has discussed a number of ideas to get citizens to have more children. These include increasing support for child care and increasing nursery schools to make it easier for families to raise kids.