The Japanese sex problem has become so desperate that its young population has given up on dating and is just marrying friends.
A government survey found 69% of Japanese men and 59% of Japanese women do not have a romantic partner.
One Japanese aggregator website has since been awash with stories of how people have simply married lifelong friends.
The country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, with just 8.4 children being born per 1,000 inhabitants over the past five years.
Its population of 127 million people is predicted to decrease to 87 million by 2060.
The survey, carried out by the country’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, also reported that about 80% of unmarried Japanese want to get married.
In recent weeks, people have posted stories to the aggregator website Matome Naver, telling how in one case a colleague married a friend of 10 years.
The trend has been coined “Kousai zero Nichikon”: roughly translated as “marrying without dating.”
Japanese actress Maki Horikita married costar Koji Yamamoto in 2015 after just a month of dating.
A column in the Joshi Spa magazine last month compared hunting for a marriage partner with suicide.
There is no real evidence that the kousai zero nichikon trend is taking the far-eastern islands by storm.
But it draws parallels with Japan’s now mostly defunct omiai arranged-marriage tradition, in which parents suggested partners for their adult children.
After the sexual-partners survey was released earlier this year, columnist and sociologist Maki Fukasawa criticized the media’s use of his own term to describe the sex problem: “Herbivore men.”