JAPAN'S HERBIVOROUS MAN. Research shows that two out of five women say they wish to marry a man who earns at least 6 million yen a year — but such men make up only 3. 5 per cent of the eligible population. The result of such unrealistic female expectations is a generation who may never marry and have children, which would be disastrous for a country with an already shrinking population. "Thirty percent", according to Professor Yamada, "have never had a girlfriend in their lives. I worry that herbivorous boys are the future of Japan. ". Prof Yamada continues, "As young Japanese men become more timid and more averse to taking risks, it will affect the energy and vitality of the society. " Economist Nobuo Iizuka notes that this development is especially acute for a country that is about to lose its title as the world’s second largest economy to China sometime this year (2010). Now, he says, is not the time to relax the pace, especially as a new Liberal Democrat government takes on an increasingly more assertive attitude towards America, while it reassesses its role in Asia vis-á-vis China. "Japan is neighbors with a rapidly growing market. " said Nobuo Iizuka. "That is a great advantage, not a threat. The question is, can Japan build on that advantage?".