I usually regard $1 as JPY 100 regardless of then exchange rate just for convenience. Another recent Yen’s depreciation against dollar, however, has forced me to change my perception. Now $1 is JPY 124, meaning that JPY 100 is just 80 cents. I have never been to the US since 2009, so I cannot check what I can get there for JPY 100 at first hand. But I am pretty sure that virtually I cannot get anything for JPY 100.
Today I came across a blog written by a Japanese guy in his early 30’s and works/lives in Niigata Prefecture, which is the most prosperous prefecture on the Sea of Japan of the main island, but far poorer from Tokyo. His latest paycheck is as follows.
Gross Pay: JPY 314,000 ($2,532)
health insurance JPY 11,900 ($95.97)
pension premium JPY 24,464 ($197.29)
employment insurance: JPY 1,570 ($12.66)
national income tax : JPY 5,870 ($47.34)
municipal income tax : JPY 500 ($4.03)
Take-home pay: JPY 262,696 ($2,174.97)
According to his blog, he works for an IT services company and his salary is a typical income Niigata people make. Although it seems that he enjoys a very low income tax rate, i don’t know how he can make ends meet and prepare for an expected inflation (our real income has been decreasing since the latest consumption tax raise ) with such a low income, I am afraid. According to his profile, he has a wife, but no kids. Probably his wife works as well. In addition to this monthly pay, he receive bonus twice a year from his employer. His recent take-home bonus was JPY 291,528 ($2,351). Based on the data he provided, his annual take home pay is estimated at JPY 3,819,408 ($30,802). I remember Dividend Mantra used to make $40,000 as a car dealer’s service advisor in Florida. I cannot directly compare Niigata against Florida, but I feel we Japanese are poorer than American peers.