Japan is an island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula. The climate varies from tropical in the south to cool temperate in the north. The official language is Japanese. Many Japanese business people who deal with foreigners speak good English, but business negotiations are often conducted through an interpreter. It is unwise to try to speak Japanese in business meetings, even with a relatively high degree of fluency. However, in social contexts some familiarity with the Japanese language or Japanese customs will be greatly appreciated. English is spoken in major hotels and in shops catering for tourists, but only minimally elsewhere. The main religions are Shintoism and Buddhism. The economy of Japan is the second largest in the world, after the United States at around $5 trillion USD in terms of nominal GDP and third after the United States and China when adjusted for purchasing power parity. Banking, insurance, real estate, retailing, transportation, telecommunications and construction are all major industries. Japan has a large industrial capacity and is home to some of the largest, leading and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles and processed foods. The service sector accounts for three quarters of the gross domestic product. Japanese culture is governed by a strict code of manners. The Japanese do not expect expatriates to be familiar with all customs, it is important to try to adapt to Japanese Protocols. Expatriate business dress is typically formal and conservative. Men should wear a suit and women should wear either a dress or a suit. The security risk for expatriates in Japan is low. Risks are mainly low levels of crime in urban areas. Other risks include earthquakes and tsunamis, that can cause widespread damage and disruption. The currency of Japan is the Japanese Yen (JPY). Japan is mainly a cash society. Cards issued outside Japan are not widely accepted. Many post offices, 7-Eleven stores and Citi Bank branches have ATMs, which will accept some foreign cards during business hours. Medical facilities are excellent, but the cost of treatment is expensive and often requires immediate payment in full. The population of Japan is 127 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 0.6% (Nov 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Japan, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Japan as at 1 January 2018 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Average 2) Clothing: High 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: High 5) Furniture & Appliances: Low 6) Groceries: Very High 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Very High 9) Miscellaneous: Average 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: High 13) Transport: Very High Japan is for example 37.4% more expensive than USA for groceries, 22.8% more expensive for household costs than UK, and 230.4% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Japan for an expat from Australia, is for example 10%, i.e. host location (Japan) premium of 20% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Japan is ranked as a some hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Japan? Register subscribe to your home location and Japan and run your personalised reports.