The country where people work even in their 90s. Economist: “They show a huge spirit of sacrifice”

The Japanese work until old age, live modestly and show a huge spirit of sacrifice, a fact that helped their country to remain in the top of the world’s most economically powerful states, claims businessman Carmen Hărău, after his experience in Japan.

Images from Japan. Photo: Carmen Hărău.

The businessman Camen Hărău, an economist by profession, a former parliamentarian between 2012 and 2020, spent several days in Japan, and after returning to Romania, he reported on his Facebook page about the experience he had in one of the richest countries of the world.

Life in Japan means work

The Japanese work, export machinery, electronics, chemicals, generally goods involving labor and intelligence, and import raw materials, including for the food industry.

In their rural area, you cannot find plots of uncultivated land, writes Carmen Hărău, on her Facebook page. In the evening, however, what the tourist arriving in Japan can observe is the tiredness on the faces of the locals.

Looking at them very closely, in Japan you can’t help but notice in the afternoon, especially after 6 p.m., very tired people on the street, in the subway, in restaurants. They have very small apartments/studios, often about 20 square meters, small kitchen spaces, and they don’t cook much. He eats traditional food in restaurants, convenient in price, and the question of its freshness does not even come into question, it is part of the air he breathes. Everything has a very short shelf life. They are so well organized that they maintain very well the balance between what they produce/import and what they consume”wrote Carmen Hărău.

The public healthcare system in Japan is accessible and well organized. Earners above the average ($2,000 per month) pay 30 percent of the health care tax, retirees pay 10 percent, and those earning less than $1,000 a month pay nothing, the economist claims.

School in Japan

The Japanese go privately only for very revolutionary medical treatments, for reparative or aesthetic plastic surgery, special dental work, says the businessman from Hunedoara.

In Japan, education is free and compulsory until the age of 15, and supplies and uniform are paid for by the children’s families.

“After the age of 15, there are three more years, lower high school, and two years of higher high school, paid 2000 dollars a year, in the private regime, and 700 dollars in the public regime. After high school, half of the graduates go to universities and pay around $3,500 a year in the public system and $6,000 a year in the private system, and the rest embrace various jobs. A very good worker can end up earning significantly more than some bachelorsi”, says Carmen Hărău.

Japanese schools do not have maids, and students are responsible for cleaning and grooming them, a tradition meant to prepare them for life.

What salaries do Japanese people get?

Incomes in Japan are differentiated and salaries are often topics few locals talk about. Real average wages are estimated to be around $2,000 per month, while the average monthly take home is $450 – $700.

From the public system it is known that a doctor receives between 45,000 and 100,000 dollars per year, a middle school/high school teacher receives between 30,000 and 50,000 dollars per year. In the university environment, salaries rise steeply towards the level of doctors. A skilled worker earns between $15,000 and $60,000 per year.

The rent costs for a peripheral house of about 20 square meters are, in Tokyo, 1200 dollars per month and in Kyoto, Osaka, 750 dollars per month. Shipping costs are also very high, up to $300 per month“, writes the former parliamentarian.

Young men and women face wage discrimination in Japan. For the same work and the same age, women receive a 15 percent lower salary, and young people, even if they are very efficient, stand in line waiting to accumulate seniority. The presence of multinationals pushes for the elimination of discrimination, adds the economist.

The tax levied in Japan is progressive, the VAT rate is 10 percent, and the taxes on cars are differentiated, being higher for those purchased outside the country.

“In Japan it’s very expensive to have your own car and you can’t buy it until you prove that you have a parking space within two kilometers of your home“, claims Carmen Hărău.

I work all my life

Although the retirement age in Japan is 60, Japanese people can stay working as long as they want, and employers are required to keep them in the workforce until they are 65. After this age, the employee needs the company’s consent if he wants to continue. The Japanese do not take both pension and salary at the same time.

“Their pension is small. All receive a basic pension of 350 dollars per month from the state, to which is added: for private employees 15 percent of the average salary over the last 5 years, for those in the public system 20 percent of the average salary over the last 5 years years. Private pensions are newly introduced by law in the pension system, the current generation of pensioners does not benefit from them. Average pensions in payment are below $1,000 per month, which means that in retirement the Japanese cannot support themselves on this income. The solution is to make some savings/additional sources of income during working life or to extend the working period as much as possible. Many elderly Japanese, octogenarians, nonagenarians, are still working, doing activities appropriate to their age“, writes Carmen Hărău.

Japan is a strange world, where people have the highest life expectancy in the world, and show a huge spirit of sacrifice, concludes the economist.

“Sincere? Dear Romanian friends, I think we are blessed to have been born in Romania. God “assigned” us to a good country… The question is what do we do with it?“, adds Carmen Hărău.