economics

Why is Japanese customer service so amazing? Because in Japan it’s one strike and you’re out

Warmhearted hospitality plus unforgiving customers equals the world’s highest service standards.

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Tokyo ranked as most expensive city in the world for expats, three other Japanese towns in top 10

But the situation might not be as bad as it sounds.

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More than half of young anime workers live with their parents or receive money from them【Survey】

Going to work for an anime company continues to be a terrible plan if your goal is to get rich.

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Study suggests Japanese workers are deeply distrustful of their employers

A study found that workers in Japan distrust their employers significantly more than workers in the US, UK, Canada and Australia do. 

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Average savings of Japanese households revealed, netizens reel in shock

Our mothers always told us that it’s not polite to talk about money. And while we usually listen to what our mother’s tell us, this one time we’re going to ignore their advice. Sorry, mom!

But, really, it’s not a big deal, because we’re not talking about our money. Instead, we’re talking about Japanese people’s money–specifically, how much they have saved up on average. And the number might surprise you.

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PM Abe calls on Japanese businesses to learn from Nintendo, netizens skeptical

At a recent budget meeting in the Japanese Diet, a member asked Prime Minister Abe to explain his growth strategy. As you probably know, the prime minister has been focused on improving the Japanese economy, though he’s not having the greatest of luck. As Abenomics–the cheeky name given to Abe’s economic policies–fluctuates in and out of favor, many are wondering if it’s working at all. We’re not sure the Prime Minister’s response is going to assuage anyone’s fears…

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Adam Smith or Aerosmith? 21 tweets from Japanese university economics students

Ahh, economics! Adam Smith, worlds with only two types of fruit, and an abundance of calculators–what’s not to love? Everyone seems to have different opinions on the study of commerce, but there’s no denying that it might, possibly, make the world go round. Maybe? We’re still confused about whether or not Karl Marx was a Marxist.

But one thing we do know is that economics is a major subject of study around the world–and especially in Japan! While the subject isn’t exactly know for being exciting, it turns out that there’s a lot of humor to be found among its students. Here are some of top “aru-aru” moments from Japanese econ students.

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Expert weighs in with his ideas on what defines the Japanese character

For most of its history, Japan was separated from the rest of the world by the surrounding seas and an isolationist policy strictly enforced by its feudal period government. These centuries of isolation led to a unique culture, and it’s long been a favorite challenge for researchers and commentators to try to pin down just what defines the Japanese character.

Chinese news portal BW Chinese recently published a list of characteristics of the Japanese psyche, as originally put forth by Australian Gregory Clark, whose educational and professional career dealing with Japanese sociology, education, and economics has spanned more than five decades.

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How nerdy are you? Use this handy formula to calculate your “otaku coefficient”

Originally a particularly polite way of saying “you,” the Japanese word otaku evolved into a label for anyone with an obsessive, passionate devotion to their hobby. While most commonly associated with anime fans, the term is also applied to hardcore video gamers, technology buffs, and even auto enthusiasts.

Much like “geek,” otaku was initially a derogatory term, but has lost a lot of its sting and become largely co-opted in recent years. Still, it’s important to not let yourself get too wrapped up in your hobbies. Conveniently, there’s now a mathematical formula to determine if your otaku-ness has become too much for your own good.

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Neither down nor out: The rumors of Japan’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

Next to the USA, the second largest economy in the world used to be Japan. But after the bubble collapsed, the Japanese economy has been stagnant and, in 2012, fell to third place. Second place, as you probably know, was taken by China, whose economy is expanding at an unprecedented rate.

China’s rise is an undeniable fact. But is it true that Japan is on the wane? Mr. Chong Wong, a Chinese expert on diplomatic issues, took up the question. Writing on his blog (Chinese only), Mr. Wong offered up evidence that Japan wasn’t in decline but was actually the best in the world in some ways. We’ve listed the major ones below.

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Vietnam mulling moniker modification as part of constitutional revisions

Changes are expected to be made to the Vietnamese constitution this October during sessions of the country’s National Assembly. The current constitution was ratified in 1992 as part of the doimoi political movement that relaxed many of the government’s economic controls, and was a major departure from its previous incarnation.

Although minor revisions were made to the constitution in 2001, far more extensive alterations are expected in the next round. Among the many points to be discussed is the possibility of altering the country’s official name.

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Man’s job threatened over anonymous anime-related blog posts

In spite of the highly touted wonders of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new economics plan, often referred to as Abenomics, there are many large companies across the nation preparing for major layoffs and general downsizing. An anonymous internet user has shared with Japanese site News Post Seven his perhaps justified feelings of paranoia over how companies are using invasive internet searches to decide who stays and who gets the boot. We’ll refer to him simply as Mr. Nakagawa, and hope that this name change is enough to save him from his boss’s proverbial wrath. Read More

How Your Lazy Coworker is Like a Can of Vegetable Juice

Despite Japan’s famously strong work ethic, even offices here have some employees who coast through the day, oblivious to their more industrious coworkers who exasperatedly wonder how their paychecks remain so similar when their levels of dedication are anything but.

Economist Taiichi Kogure touches on some of these points in his latest work, The Mindset of People Who Will Always Have Low Salaries, which hit bookshelves in Japan last month. Inspired by the book, Livedoor News posted the following editorial analogy based on Kogure’s concepts, titled “Your Salary Isn’t Determined by Your Efforts or Value.” Read More

As Stocks Rise, so do the Hem Lines: Japan’s New Incentive for Economic Growth

In the face of our global economy’s seemingly never-ending nosedive, Japan has come up with a hip, new way to stimulate growth in its local communities: by starting up a band!

Machikado Keiki☆JAPAN, a group name that roughly translates to “Street Corner Conditions JAPAN,” is the latest and greatest four-girl idol group to hit the media. I know it sounds a bit like a band full of hookers, but just wait until you hear their pitch! Basically, the better the nation’s stocks are doing, the shorter their skirts get! Clearly, the idea of having enough money for food and rent is not enough of an incentive to get some economic stimulus going; what the country really needs is more half-naked women! Read More