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Japan considers tax reform to lure foreign financial firms, annual policy says

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A work colleague took a job in global financial capital Singapore a couple of years ago. Same job as in Tokyo in financial research. But in Singapore, she had to live in a small shared apartment, because she couldn't afford to have her own. In Tokyo, she gave up her 2LDK in Meguro.

That's what it's like to live in global financial centre. Tokyo is currently the most affordable global capital, where many of my friends own detached homes. When the bankers move in, say goodbye to that and hello to skyrocketing home values, higher living costs for those in the low and middle income ranges and even greater social inequality. Being a global financial centre can be a liability, not an asset, for the 99% population who aren't in the upper echelons of financial institutions.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

No need to worry about house prices or rents in Tokyo.

Japan is not that foreigner friendly and rates of tax are on the rise!

Singapore is much more compatible for expats and there is always the option to commute a short distance away being based in Malaysia.

The trend now is to telework and I know a broker doing so.

Singapore life is way better than Tokyo-I know which I would choose...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

They are trying to obtain the Hong Kong Financial Firms that will be exiting very soon. Go to Singapore as Ghosen might suggest.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Singapore is much more compatible for expats 

I personally know three former Singapore expats here in Tokyo, and they would vehemently disagree with you.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan considers tax reform to lure foreign financial firms, annual policy says

Japan has tried this for years, do they ever evaluate and really make major changes at all?

https://www.scmp.com/property/international/article/1943474/plan-lure-hedge-funds-japan-finds-reality-not-so-enticing

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Singapore is much more compatible for expats

I have many banker friends who had to move to Singapore and would love to move back to Tokyo. The amount of taxes they would contribute and spend would be good for the economy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They've been talking about this for decades. It's not gonna happen.

I tend to agree. Nothing will happen until the economy goes into complete crisis. In the meantime, the old cronies will continue to fleece the public and add to their personal wealth. They see no reason to change because they have it good and care not a whit for the future of most Japanese.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

......yeah I too have been hearing versions of this now for 30yrs & it never amounts to anything.

I have also heard lots of stories of financial firms in Japan run for foreigners get target by the tax office for audits etc & then told they must REFORM what they are doing or close up & many have done the later.

I was personally in a meeting years ago with Customs to discuss an area where Japan wasnt aligning with WTO norms, there were 3foreign staff from a global MASSIVE accounting firm that Customs asked them there in the meeting for their Gaijin cards & noted their details & threatened them with going to immigration if they ever came back to discuss the issue at hand......was very scary stuff, THIS HAPPENS!!!

And then there is the run of the mill day to day stuff all companies have deal with, makes for a very tough slog to set up in Japan!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's what it's like to live in global financial centre. Tokyo is currently the most affordable global capital, where many of my friends own detached homes. When the bankers move in, say goodbye to that and hello to skyrocketing home values, higher living costs for those in the low and middle income ranges and even greater social inequality. Being a global financial centre can be a liability, not an asset, for the 99% population who aren't in the upper echelons of financial institutions.

Basically, Tokyo will be like London. Running money laundering industry for foreign elites, while your own people will never ever get any benefit. Singapore at least exploits a lot of profits from being a financial centre of the world, while UK didn't do much and give huge tax break to foreign elites. Of course, Shinzo Abe and LDP cronies idolized the UK conservatives for giving huge tax breaks towards rich elites, especially American ones.

I personally know three former Singapore expats here in Tokyo, and they would vehemently disagree with you.

At least, I need to know how wealthy they are. If not, they are definitely not the target customers of Singaporean government.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Imagine if Abe had done his 3rd arrow properly, and got the debt situation under control! Japan would be in a much better position now, although the Ghosn debacle casts a shadow too...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Singapore life is way better than Tokyo-I know which I would choose...

Singapore is a small town compared to Tokyo. You can't go more than five minutes wihout bumping into someone. It has limited things to do, it is largely unattractive, somewhat sterile and has an authoritarian government. Give me Tokyo anytime.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With Singapore one can (normally) very easily travel short distances to all kinds of great places, travelling in & around Japan while better than in the past is still expensive & involves often WAY TOO MUCH work even when you are travelling for vacation

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With Singapore one can (normally) very easily travel short distances to all kinds of great places,

Singapore is repressive, the press is censored, and it is hideously expensive. The climate is awful too unless you like equatorial heat, humidity and really bad air pollution. No thanks. Japan has four seasons and is much more relaxed. I don't like places where you are always looking over your shoulder wondering if you are doing something that could get you jailed and caned. I also didn't like having some woman sitting in a booth in the men's room watching to make sure I flushed the toilet. Good grief!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan should open its financial sector up to foreign firms and foreign investments. The regulators have been going in opposite direction since the late 1990s however and have pushed out the likes of UBS, Credit Suisse and all the other big offshore banks wishing to open up choices for global investments. Japan says they want to attract these firms but they won’t do so with such rigid and tight restrictions in place as they have now.

If they were to open as SIngapore or Hong Kong have they would certainly attract many security companies along with large numbers of high tax paying foreign nationals.  Though they would have to give some tax breaks to attract these expats who are used to paying less than 20% in tax where Japan’s current tax rate would have them paying over 50% of their income away in tax. Not very attractive And when you consider that Japan has a global inheritance tax the same expat can find his estate fully exposed to inheritance tax at a 55% tax rate!  A few changes are certainly in order if Japan wishes to be competitive in Asia.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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