France 24 on real-life 40-year-old virgins in Japan and the heartache they experience because of their lack of any real relationship knowledge or education:

Matchmaking expert Yoko Itamoto says the economic emasculation has taken its toll on Japan’s men, as more of them struggle to find secure, full-time jobs.

“Many men seem to have lost confidence as they’ve lost their economic muscle,” she said.

“In the past two decades, the situation for Japanese men has been very tough and competitive.”

The pain caused by an inability to form emotional and physical relationships with women is something that one 49-year-old architect, who did not wish to be named, knows too well.

Only twice in his life has he had romantic and sexual feelings for a woman — the first time in his mid-twenties and then again two decades later.

Both rebuffed him.

“It was devastating,” he told AFP. “It seemed to invalidate my life and take away my reason to live.”

On both occasions he suffered rapid weight-loss, and now fears he might live life as a singleton and a virgin.

Japan is not the hyper-sexual country the rest of the world believes it to be, thanks to its very peculiar yet highly popular cultural exports.