What’s driving Japan’s incel violence and South Korea’s ‘semen terrorism’?

In the 1990s, Japan’s emerging phenomenon of hikikomori – young people shutting themselves away from society – prompted much hand-wringing, self-reflection and cultural criticism.

Two decades later, the pressures that caused thousands of young Japanese to shun the outside world have grown more acute. More alarmingly, a toxic mix of intense social isolation and changing gender dynamics has contributed to several cases of “incels” – involuntarily celibate young men – violently targeting women.