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Work-Sex Balance: Putting Japan in the Mood to Procreate

With one of the world's lowest birth rates, it's not the first time the Japanese government has tried to get in bed with the people. In the '90s, a government-organized dating program failed to produce results — and, yes, by results I mean babies. But now it's turning to the already-married business class, hoping they'll have more children if employers ensure they're home in time for sex.

A new survey shows that the average couple in Japan has sex 45 times per year. That's less than half the global average of 103 times. Why so low? To find out,


Citing lack of energy, more than one third of couples under 50 did not have sex in the previous month. With health experts warning that people are too tired for sex, the government is now trying to persuade employers to give workers more time "at home." That's certainly a euphemism!

Though some companies have already made an independent effort to minimize time in the office, the labor ministry is writing a bill that would exempt employees with children under three from overtime and limit their work days to six hours. While I'm sure more sex leads to more pregnancies (problem solved!), I doubt it would increase the number of planned ones.

Having time for sex and having time for kids are two major, and completely different, problems. Is it really a smart way to grow a population? Or should they do whatever it takes?


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