The Japanese government is trying to figure out how to get its people to have more sex

There are a number of diagnoses for this aversion to the bedroom. Morinaga Takuro, an economic analyst and TV personality, believes this has something to do with attractiveness. He has suggested a “handsome tax”: “If we impose a handsome tax on men who look good to correct the injustice only slightly, then it will become easier for ugly men to find love, and the number of people getting married will increase.”

Takuro writes a lament for the men in love with “2D female characters from anime and manga.” He expressed, in the Asahi Shimbun, “I want to tell them that human women are also great fun!” Technology, of course, gets blame: virtual worlds, not to mention porn.

But many, especially alarmed to see that more than 20 percent of men between 25-29 say they have little interest in sex, see the low interest in sex as part of economic depression. A Japanese columnist named Maki Fukasawa observes an increase in a group of men he’s dubbed “herbivores”: heterosexual guys who, in contrast to “carnivorous” businessmen, live without expression of sexuality. Angelika Koch, a Cambridge University scholar, author of Manga Girl Seeks Herbivore Boy, sees “a subversion of the traditional male role of the Japanese ‘salaryman’: the corporate male in suit and tie who dedicates his life to his company as breadwinner for his family, the sexually assertive man who spends his evenings drinking with colleagues at hostess clubs and bars.”