The percentage of university students with experience of dating stands at around 70 percent, the lowest level since surveys by a sex education body began more than 40 years ago.

In the nationwide survey conducted by the Japanese Association for Sex Education in 2017, 71.8 percent of male students and 69.3 percent of female students said they had experience of dating, while over 30 percent of both male and female students said they do not want to go out with anyone at present.

The percentages of male and female students with experience of dating had remained above 70 percent since the association started the survey in 1974. The previous lows of 73.4 percent for male students and 74.4 percent for female students were marked in 1974.

Male and female students who said they were sexually experienced stood at 47.0 percent and 36.7 percent, respectively. Many of the respondents who lacked sexual experience said they did not have a partner or felt they were too young.

"The figures are falling in total, but at the same time the number of students who are becoming sexually experienced is increasing. We are seeing greater diversity," the association said.

The latest survey, the eighth of its kind, was conducted between June and December 2017, and covered about 4,449 junior high school students, 4,282 senior high school students and 4,194 university students.

Experience of dating among junior high school students hit record highs of 27.0 percent for males and 29.2 percent for females. The survey showed the number of junior high school students with sexual experience was also on the rise.

Among senior high school students, less than 20 percent said they had sexual experience.

Over 70 percent of senior high school and university students said they use social networking services, with around 10 percent of university students and female high school students saying they had met up with people of the opposite sex whom they had got to know on the internet or via smartphone apps, according to the survey.