Lack of time spent by Japanese parents with their children may tarnish the country's reputation as being one the world's most polite societies.
A recent Education Ministry survey reports that Japanese parents, especially fathers, spend less time with their children than parents in other nations polled. The apparent result has been that the children seem to develop some social skills at a slower rate.Japanese fathers spend a mere 3.3 hours per weekday on average with their children, excluding sleeping time spent at home.
At the spectrum's opposite pole were fathers of Thai children who, the survey reports, spend an average six waking hours with their children.
The Ministry polled 1,000 families with children below age 12 in each of the six country's in the survey - Britain, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand and the United States - asking how they nurture and educate their children.
Not only did Japanese fathers spend less time with their children, they also spent less time listening to their children's problems.
Only one in four Japanese respondents said they talk with their children about their problems, the lowest in the survey. And, in another survey, fathers helped with children's meals less than in any of the other five nations.
Japanese fathers are not the only slackers. Japanese mothers spend 7.4 hours per weekday with their children, second only to moms in Sweden, despite the fact that most Japanese mothers do not work.
Shortened time spent with children seems to be having a negative effect on Japanese society, according to the poll.