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Please note: This is a machine translated version. The original article is in German and can be accessed .

Standard of living of German foreigners in Japan: Result

October 29th, 2011 | Tagged | 4 Comments | 2767 reads

Before I have a good week with this article a survey on the living standards of the German Foreigners in Japan started. Within a week, involved a total of 62 Readers in the survey – given the fact, that only about. 5% The reader of this blog in Japan are, will not get together much more. Will hot, The survey is really only represent a sample – Finally, there are about 5,900 reported in Japan in German (see here), good one’000 Swiss and a few hundred Austrians, and here were some occupational 1% questioned. Not 99%. The bare results, pimped color, look like:

1. “How long have you been working in Japan?” 2. “How did you come to work?”
3. “What is your current employment?” 4. “How much you earn on average per year (including. Bonuses, net)?*”
5. “How do you rate your knowledge of Japanese?” 6. Specified professions
(Input was voluntary)Most were represented translator, followed by teachers, Engineers and IT professionals.

*Price at the time of the survey: 1 Millionen Yen = ca. 9'500 € (Three years ago: 6’000 Euro)

Unfortunately, the amount is too small, to provide reasonable correlations. Correlated with language skills ** be the annual salary, can be stated, that the logical-sounding formula “Better language skills = better salary” not applicable. This survey is, however, to the effect distorts, that also sent engineers from Europe, Bankers and scientists are represented: Those usually speak little Japanese, but earn above average.

One thing is however clear from this sample: There are plenty of expatriates, the need to get by in Japan more or less – almost half (45%) living with a net annual salary of 4 Millionen Yen (38’000 Euro) – given the generally high rents and food prices in Japan is not the content, the only way to swim in money. At least not in big cities. The average gross salary for the Japanese is the way 5,5 Millionen Yen (50’000 Euro) – Of these, mostly about. 1 Million yen tax deducted (including. Municipal tax – may vary according to the city 10% amount of salary).

**On the basis of so-called session ID's, data can be correlated in the survey

The survey results as a PDF here be downloaded.


Two hours queuing for 'ne sausage / The Meat Guy

October 25th, 2011 | Tagged , , | 17 Comments | 1920 reads

Würstchenbude in Tokyo: 2 of 4 Varieties sold, two hours of waiting time

No, The speech is not a soup kitchen or a refugee camp, but from Germany Festival, which took place yesterday in and around the German Embassy. 150 Years of German-Japanese friendship should be celebrated as – The highlight of the year, the German-Japanese friendship. Cheers!.

On the outside wall exactly that message, which Shortly after the first earthquake had even taken to safety, without informing the citizens registered at your Federal somehow, stuck gigantic posters, on which the exploits were celebrated, to Germany for the long-suffering Japan after the disaster volbrachte – Machines with photos of Cargo, High pressure cleaners, Clearance equipment and the like. I think, ein Photo vom THW, Although the site quickly, but disappeared even faster, I do not think it was.

But this does not spoil our enjoyment of all. I was too curious, so I'm driving with my daughter to Hiroo. Finally, it should indeed occur, even the President. He did well also, but we were too late, and my daughter would surely also have been interested not so much in a speech. Even at the station by Hiroo it started: Crowds, as far as the eye could see. Somehow child to the cafes pulled over to the park – Crowds everywhere. Down to the pond in the park, then a few steps up – there began a snake, stretching to the upper part of the park. The sausage snake! A wise man coping with shield “This end of the line” good-naturedly answered the question about the waiting time: 2 Hours. For God's sake.

There was much excitement. Countless people, countless children. Quick buy something to eat? Impossible. Well, something played, something played, short crying fit, just won because of helium balloons flew up to heaven… after a half hour before it was already getting dark, and so we went back to the way back. From this perspective has been the festival be a success.


The Meat Guy

About Wurst: Today I stumbled upon a website, which I have never noticed before: “The Meat Guy”. The name itself has been beautifully. And program. The shop is run by a foreigner living in Nagoya – and the offer looks fantastic. There are even (Fanfare!) Whole Duck – with 6,600 yen, so good 60 Euro, pro Tier (although small) even relatively inexpensive. Even bacon he has. Well, sold out at the moment… I was so excited, I'm here for nothing but promptly advertise the store.
The site is way bilingual (English & Japanese) – and well done. Say, The item descriptions are downright amusing. Click here for the Meat Guy.


Survey: Standard of living for foreigners in Japan

October 21st, 2011 | Tagged , | 13 Comments | 2785 reads

Coolio Bloggerkollege hat In one of his last articles alerted to a problem, I'm interested in for quite some time: How is it all about the other foreigners, mainly from German-speaking, in Japan?

Thanks to my work, I am relatively well informed about, How are many English teachers and former teachers of English, but in immigrants from the German-speaking world, I'm not so sure. And I do not think, that there are reliable figures to somewhere.

It cries out for a survey, because the topic is certainly of interest. Japan still has the reputation among many, the land to be, flowing with milk and honey, But like Coolio suggests quite clearly, is not necessarily as the. And Dittman-fund of the German Embassy in Japan, this shows quite clearly.

The questions are quite detailed and are in parts something directly, I therefore prefer to list the questions below to. I do not log IP's, I do not know, who is behind the Replies. But I hope for active participation, because only then it makes sense, evaluate the results and publish. After this post on the blog has slipped down, I will move the Survey module for a while in the right column – unless, find it more quickly than 100 Respondents.

A request to this site: Please just answer the questions, if your
In Japan, lives AND works!

Here are the questions – with the exception of the last question, all questions compulsory.

1. How long have you been working in Japan?
2. How did you come to work?
3. What is your current employment?
4. How much you earn on average per year (including. Bonuses, net)?
5. How do you rate your knowledge of Japanese?
6. How do you assess your standard of living in Japan compared to the average?
7. If you want to, You can specify your profession here (not necessarily)


Tokyo is now contaminated? Or not? An inventory analysis

October 17th, 2011 | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments | 3275 reads

In the past week, a report startled many capital city – and numerous German- and English-language bloggers and foreign media: In 世 田 谷 区 Setagaya-ku, a relatively centrally located and relatively upscale district of Tokyo, was an old, dilapidated wooden house a radiation found, than that given by the Iitate. Iitate is considered one of Japan's verstrahltesten Places and is located in the prefecture of Fukushima.

Specifically, individuals were told when measured in Setagaya-ku has a value of 2.7 Microsievert ago (official report here, Japanese). In Iitate misst man momentan (on average) 2 Microsievert. These are annualized 23.6 Millisievert. The International Atomic Energy Agency and numerous other international authorities recommend an annual dose of more than mere mortals 1 Millisievert (see for example here, English); other agencies and organizations turn to go from 20 Millisievert per year as an absolutely safe level. In Japan, the limit applies 1 mSv, although the value to 20 wanted to increase mSv for parts of the prefecture of Fukushima or. probably has some.

Perhaps may be one or the other have wondered, why me, the above headline was worth no post. Now: The whole thing smelled something fishy. Why? The value seemed a bit too high. Because: For months, not only measures the government. Thank God. More and more individuals and organizations go with Geiger counters through the capital region and are happy to share their readings to the interested and concerned with others. This is good, commendable and very important. And while a novelty – never have the citizens of their government does not trust as much.

If the measured value now the rule in Setagaya, this would become public in any case more of a plurality of corners and. The media picked the outliers like to, especially as a school passes on the said house. The local authorities took the house under the microscope – and found in a narrow secret fold-like cavity with a box of vials. Therein: Radium. That was until the 1950s often used inter alia in Japan: For example, to illuminate the watch hands in the dark can be. Now – the vials appeared to originate from the time. They were removed, and now we measure the same place less than 0.01 Microsievert. This corresponds to other measurements.

“Foul!” then it rang all sorts of corners. “This smells so after cover-up – that stinks but somehow!”. Well. At this point, once the necessary “What if”- Question: “Was, if there really is someone hoarding bottles of radium – and camped there for decades and have been forgotten?” Impossible? No. It is simply logical, that such things are now coming to light: Who is before March 2011 already running with a Geiger counter by Tokyo? Reason to panic or immediate effort-honored conspiracy? No.

Or? Other measurement: In the last week in Yokohama in two places at high (or. relatively high) Strontium concentrations found. Is controversial because, that strontium was measured for the first time as far away from Fukushima. And: Strontium is particularly dangerous, since it is absorbed by the body instead of calcium and incorporated into bone tissue, order to later bone- and trigger other cancers. Now, the maximum measured concentration was in Yokohama 195 Becquerel / Kilogram (See original message here), but it was also measured still not widely. The concentration is relatively low, But there is no denying: Strontium is now also available in the Capital Region.

The general understanding is these days so:

  • The radiation exposure in the air on a (almost) natural or. negligibly increased level
  • Drinking water in the capital region is safe (below detection limit)
  • Vegetables, Meat, Fish, etc.: Sections of charged. Unfortunately, it is difficult to isolate – especially meat and dairy products, since you do not know, where what was fed. You should be safe for marine products in number, buys only, what in western Japan (Japanisches More) or was captured abroad (however: Norwegian salmon is due to British nuclear plant also weighed etc.). You should be safe for vegetables on number, eliminates vegetables from Fukushima, Miyagi, Saitama, Ibaraki, Tokyo, Chiba, Shizuoka, Yamagata, Nagano Niigata und, however Chiba, Shizuoka, Nagano and Niigata meanwhile temporarily considered lasted without
  • Anyone who has children and lives in the Capital Region, avoids old leaves, the space between buildings, The area around manhole covers and virtually all points, where rain water collects easily.

On the last point, however, the following must be said: The values ​​are far too low, external radiation to cause damage. It is about the internal radiation exposure ((Body)Within the traced – (or)naihibaku). Parents should be sure why a precaution, that children do not include in any way dirt from these areas – for example, by playing there and then lick their fingers, etc.. In short: Not in the foliage or around ditches, Manhole covers, etc.. can play.

What happens next?
There is still a lot to come to light. The increased concentrations in the greater Tokyo area with fairly high probability of the middle 2012 virtually disappeared (washed out) be – it was also in Bavaria, a year after the Chernobyl. The leaching of radioactive particles will still cause long term problems in the water cycle.


Pension at 70, VAT by 100% rauf?

October 13th, 2011 | Tagged , , | 4 Comments | 1309 reads

The news yesterday with the same waiting 2 Hiobsbiotschaften Tarō for normal consumers: On the one announced by Finance Minister Azumi eibem meeting with the head of the Keidanren (trade association belong here), that he intends in any case, next year to submit a bill, consequently, the VAT will be increased. This is has been long on talk, not only since the earthquake disaster. The number, one hears most frequently, is 10%, and this percentage will reach the middle of this decade. Currently he is 5%, A few years ago he was still at 3%. Non-Japan Lore should be said at this point, however,, that the VAT is in terms of a relative measure of consumer prices: 5% sounds low for most Europeans, does not, that the retail prices are low.

Another advance came simultaneously from different corners: You will have no alternative than to increase the retirement age. In many traditional companies, the retirement age is still in 60 Years, often even when 62. The pension is as a rule from the state pension (measly) and the pension (can be quite handsome, depending on the company) together. In terms of retirement age would not seem like a mess, but show off: Immediately, the number 70 in conversation.

This is certainly not surprising: Japan has one of the highest life expectancies, but unfortunately at the same time one of the lowest birth rates. Currently pay 2.5 Employees, the pension of a pensioner, and the ratio is not better. Will hot, Japan's pension fund controls on the bankruptcy of, if nothing changes soon.

That's all well and good, and up to a certain extent inevitable probably, especially as the national debt of Japan is enormous to say the (the bulk of the debt securities is held by the Japanese, but fortunately). Unfortunately, however, fought here – as it has been a very long – only the consequences and not the cause: The long-promised increased financial incentives for parents has already been thrown overboard, with the official rationale, the money was needed to rebuild the disaster area. This was before the quake, thinking aloud about, This break for many voters to vote decisive election promises. Since Japan is not exactly tearing the immigrant population, ticks on the demographic bomb.

Speaking of bad news: Already mentioned, Dass TEPCO, the company that operates the nuclear plant's sole electricity supplier in Fukushima and in the greater Tokyo area, already in 9. Consecutive month of increased electricity prices? Official reason: Higher prices for fossil fuels on the world market. This reasoning is of course a mockery – The yen chasing a record high after another. It is certainly difficult to admit, that ultimately will have to pay the consumer for the complete nuclear damage.


Like a sore thumb

October 11th, 2011 | Tagged | 4 Comments | 1505 reads

Tass' Käffchen complacent? Can be up to 4 Invite people!

If you live abroad for a long time and still speaks the language, you forget after a few months? Years?, that one is a foreigner. It is OK, For example, if one is drawn to the United States or France. Somewhat different is the situation in Japan, where the proportion of non-East Asian foreigners in less than one percent. Whether one feels as a foreigner or not is entirely sausage: It is a foreigner. It falls on. One wonders sometimes, if you have colored spots on the face or melts a straight face, when one is staring at. Or if you are regarded as someone, just came out of the woods (the latter is usually articulated by, that someone is turnt on and very skillfully “Not, Not” calls, being in a fluent Japanese put forward counter-question, what arouses resentment because of the caller, not the vocabulary of the now slightly disturbing Friede grenzdebil acting again brings).

The true meaning of life: Bic Camera card full to empty and make

The level of awareness in the surrounding area has not only disadvantages, but also some advantages. Just yesterday I moved with my family again for Doutor. The coffee house is a Japanese subsidiary, and yes, I am already so far tatamisiert, I just do not go to Starbucks, for as the coffee is just about too big, too expensive and not even particularly tasty. Not, Doutor that in terms of taste is much better, But there are at least small cup and price. In Doutor stores can indulge in the so-called T-card points his acquisitiveness. Actually, I'm not a fan of such cards and systems, But the thing with the T-Card is cleverly: That is also the membership card for Tsutaya, probably the greatest video- and CD rental chain in Japan. So you drag the map around with you anyway. Why not show the same response to the Doutor or Family Mart, the T-Card. After all, so that each 210. Free cup of coffee (you can get anywhere 1 Percent of credit). A propos Punktekarte: An absolute must in my hand as the Bic Camera- Map, the one with most 10% gets credited to electrical items. What I have the card does not owe it all to. It would be a smooth a business idea, Bic Camera tourist trap before, them with help and advice when shopping to stand aside and let credit then the points. Since everyone has what it. As? Good idea? Just you wait, woe to you before I catch one of Bic Camera!

I think, I digress. Doctor. Yesterday I went to the counter, to order. Do not know, which dog is more colorful – I or my daughter. The service looks at me, as if they had been waiting for me, reaches just below the counter and handed me my… T-Card. Since I do since last visit, must have prior 2, 3 Weeks must have been, had not really missed, I was more surprised. And a little bit happy, because on the map have meanwhile bore the 5 Cups of coffee accumulated. There are probably several ways, Time measure.

Whether I in Germany in a very busy cafe, I two, three times a month visit, would happen? Excluded is the. But thanks to the colorful dog-principle that happens very often in Japan.


Absurdities of so and so: Bank examination

October 6th, 2011 | Tagged , | 12 Comments | 3735 reads

Mentioned this before, I'm a big big fan of Japanese banks? Well, I had already. But since the local banks are an endless source of abstruse rules, I am guilty of them just take a further article.

Many readers will respond to the Appeal for Minami-Sōma recall. It came together a lot, and gathered on my Paypal account. And that somehow had to get donations to the Japanese account of the organization, because they do not have a foreign bank account and a Paypal. My Paypal account is linked to my Japanese bank account – want to be called, I – limited – Money from my Paypal account to send my bank account. Is not too expensive. And, and? Now, Paypal has its registered office abroad. Somewhere out there. At least not in Japan. And Japanese, all Vöran Banks, is well known, much, what comes from abroad, suspicious. This includes in particular transfers. One could use the money, even if it's only a three-digit euro amount, a Japanese politician bribe! So the machinery is in motion. Three days, after I had put the transfer in motion in Paypal, I got a call from my local bank branch:

B: Are you Matthias? Matthias R***** (Name is withheld)
M: And!
B: Here is the Mizuho Bank. You have an account with us…
M: Correctly.
B: Today we have a transfer from abroad to obtain their account. Of (short break, it rustles slightly) Pei… – Pei…
M: Peiparu! (Paypal)
B: Exactly! You know it?
M: And, I expected to pay.
B: We need to ask so and so because of regulation, where the money comes.
M: This is from my own Paypal account. I will transfer as it were, between my own accounts.
B: And can I ask for the intended purpose? Where does the money?
M: I've got a website, and since the readers for a charitable purpose for an organization in Japan donated.
B: hectogram… (in German in about: as now?)
M: Well, and the money I need to pass.
B. (collects and runs on top form as a detective on) What is the name the organization?
M: “Save Minami-Sōma”
B: Huh?
M: Minami-Soma! You know, the city in Fukushima, Tsunami, AKW, Earthquake, and so!
B: Hmmm. And what was the other one again?
M: Save! In Japanese or 救助 救う, or in this case also 応援 する (I just had mood, I gave her more translations, so that they appreciate my beautiful Japanese vocabulary is somewhat more)
B: And what makes the organization?
M: Now, who drive regularly with relief supplies to Minami-Sōma…
B: Where?
M: (fall straight from the mouth of the Udon) And Nach Fukushima, to distribute to the evacuees.
B: Achso. Is the organization registered?
M: I think, noch nicht. It will take a couple of years in Japan, more… but belonging to Second Harvest?
B: Sekando… was? What are the?

Now, I do not want the whole, as. 10-minute call to play. The lady was so kind, to warn me, they call me every time, When I get such a transfer. Until then I'll probably have to come up with a simpler story (well I want to impress the Minister of Economic Affairs, so that it tilts this silly Banking Law – for example).
End of the story: The good, Unfortunately, some obtuse woman was finally released, the transfer, so I could transfer them on the same day on.

This process was not new to me. As we get into the company several times a month and payments from abroad, I know this conversation. But as a company we have certainly the advantage, usually speak with the same person to.


More free!

October 2nd, 2011 | Tagged , | 4 Comments | 1708 reads

Today I came for the first time in the enjoyment of a Athletic meet – Sports Day in a Japanese kindergarten. These festivals take place in all sports (As far as I know) Kindergartens and schools in Japan once a year and instead are an integral part of Japanese family life, because the parents are also involved more or less: Already a month ago I was sitting at around midnight with my wife at home and shredded red bags, to make pompoms for our daughter. So if someone asks, why tabibito once again grind the blog can – He is the pompom-making.

Nothing to do on Saturday? Go' But for sports festival!

At 8:45 ging is the (Saturday, mind you). 150 Children, at least twice as many adults with yawning a few dozen smaller and larger children as well as around 30 Managers and workers gathered in a dreary, dusty schoolyard. After a short address to the camp together for the first Japanese national anthem (“Tonari no Totoro, Totoooooroooo ♪”) gymnastics. Followed by Mickey Mouse- and then from the Pooh Bear Song. In order to know the little ones too, to what she wanted for Christmas from his parents, Finally, yes Disneyland and Disney Store is located just around the corner.

There followed various games and gymnastics and dance the little ones, with greater or lesser involvement of the parents still yawning. Among them: Funny Tug of War with parents. To this end, the fathers or the mothers in the absence of a Selbiger 鉢巻き Hachimaki (Japanese headband) given in the color of each class, and you're able to. Behind me: Someone, that could have sprung straight from a yakuza film, before me: a young mother in high heels.

Against 12 Clock was all too late, but the teacher let us go with a heavy heart. Not, because she was so fond of us and our young, but because someone has forgotten, return his headband. All children received a medal given to more quickly (interesting, how quickly it can displace the pins, EVERY child that got a medal) and were released along with parents and relatives in the wilderness. That's it. See you next year. You must now advise, where I every first or second Saturday in October in the next 18 Will spend years: Exactly, in sports festival. Provided, of course, I'm still so long in Japan.