In 2004, Tim Clark of the University of Southern California observed in Japan Media Review: “A surprising number of Japan’s high school students graduate without learning how to use a personal computer.”
Between 2000 and last year, the proportion of Japanese 20-year-olds using home PCs to access the internet plummeted from 23.6 per cent to just 11.9 per cent, say Net Ratings figures published in Facta online. Twenty-year-olds now make up the same proportion of the total as 50-year-olds. The plunge could be only partly explained by ageing of the population and growth in PC use by other age groups.
n Japan, the problem is that as the youth become more adept with mobile technology, their ability to use PCs and real keyboards has regressed to the point where it matches their parents’. Many of the 4 million young, part-time workers cannot afford PCs, and are being permanently locked out of white-collar work because of their ineptitude with computers.