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Amount of monthly 'kozukai' allowance ties into salaryman's 'social class'

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Japan is supposed to be a nation of 120 million members of the middle class. But the results of a survey featured Flash magazine (May 1) indicate how economic disparities are increasingly proving otherwise. The magazine arranged for a survey of 3,638 male wage-earners with families, between the ages of 30 to 59, with income of less than 15 million yen per year. From this it extracted three "classes" : at the bottom, with annual income of 3 million yen, were men who received a monthly kozukai (allowance doled out by their wives) of just 12,000 yen, or about 400 yen a day, for lunch, cigarettes and recreation. Their health-related outlays were just 3,000 yen -- considerably less than their high-earning colleagues.

In the middle were those who earned just under 7 million yen annually, with an average monthly kozukai of 30,220 yen. For these men, higher-than-average outlays went to pachinko, horse racing and other forms of gambling, of which some may have served to supplement their income. Their monthly health-related outlays came to 4,334 yen.

And at the top were those earning 12 million per annum. Their average kozukai was 49,000 yen per month and of that they spent 15,000 yen per month on health-related purchases or activities, such as playing tennis.

To break down consumption by type, the subjects were asked how frequently they used their kozukai for various outlays, ranging between once a week to once a month (as multiple replies were included, the total exceeds 100%).

The largest monthly outlays were for eating out in restaurants, involving 74.8% in the upper income bracket (10 to 15 million yen), with 45.8% by those earning under 4 million yen. That was followed respectively -- keeping in mind the second figure in brackets indicates the lower income group -- by solitary exercise or sports, 35.2% (12.7%); gambling (horse racing, pachinko, lottery, etc.), 24.1% (12.3%); purchasing reading matter in bookshops, 21.2% (8.1%); purchasing clothing or articles of fashion in stores, 17.2% (5.7%); purchasing e-books online 14.9%, (6.9%); health maintenance (health foods, supplements, exercise goods, etc.), 14.6% (6.0%); buying fashion goods online, 14.1% (6.3%); study materials, 11.5% (4.2%); and purchases of DVDs at shops, 7.2% (3.0%).

Flash observes that even if the average wage earner with an annual income of 6.98 million yen gets a monthly "allowance" of 30,220 yen, because economic polarization has been progressing, the figures don't really mean much.

"Even when the stock market averages go up under 'Abenomics,' people's wages keep going down," well known economist Takuro Morinaga tells the magazine. "While most wage earners are feeling hard times, just a tiny portion of people are raking it in."

"Referred to as the 'super-affluent,' these are households with assets of 500 million yen and above. According to Nomura Research, they numbered some 73,000 households in 2015 -- up by about 20,000 households from just two years previous.

"Since many of those affluent people want to live in Tokyo's Minato Ward, that's why you see so many condominiums there selling for 500 to 1,000 million yen," he adds.

One resident of Tokyo's Minato Ward remarked that much of his high income came from buying and selling securities.

"I think it's a sign of the times that 'a person who doesn't work at a job' can become quite wealthy," he's quoted as saying. "There are some people who describe the Japan of today as being exactly like France on the eve of its revolution. The wealthy avoid paying taxes, and wallow in luxury from morning to night. In this society, it's the common people who must bear the tax burden. But while Japan's society is as divided as was France's before the revolution, the common people here are unaware of how well off the affluent have become. That's why I think there won't be a revolution in Japan."

Just to be on the safe side, Flash concludes, shouldn't efforts be made to push up those stingy monthly allotments and give the salarymen a break?

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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Where do they get the money for soap land then?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

More to the point is when will salaries improve?

I’m not holding my breath!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

French Revolution? Yeah right. There are the super affluent in every society on Earth

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Average is 6.98 million???

I need a substancial raise just to be considered "average"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I am only worth about 60 million. I wonder where I went wrong. Affluence to me is more in the mind and in the heart. If you have a great spouse, cool kids, a decent place to live, then you are affluent in my book. Except for obnoxious neighbors on one side, I feel very affluent.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In most societies, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Earn 6.98m yen. Even after taxes you should be looking at over 400,000 or so a month

Receive 30,220/month = 362,640 a year, plus an unloving spouse, kids who barely talk to you and a house you only get to spend a few hours a day between the long work hours and daily commute. Its a wonder that Japanese men dont just give up and run away. You could earn more by putting in a few hours part time at a combini.

My wife and i tried doing the okozukai thing. But being fair we both had the same amount (it was more than the numbers mentioned above!) but in the end we realised we are better off managing our finances as a team with no set limits (other than the bank balance of course)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I get 8 man a month to piss up the wall and all other personal costs come out of the home account. My wife's pretty cool fortunately.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What kind of emasculated "man" would put up with this?! Grow a pair!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's not surprising fewer men are getting married. Just many cons and no pros that I can see.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

kawabegawa198Today  12:21 pm JST

What kind of emasculated "man" would put up with this?! Grow a pair!

My mrs suggested doing this once the first baby came along and admittedly, I was totally against it at first. She said give it a try and to be fair, we save a boat load which I invest how I see best. It might not work for everyone but it actually does for us. The family wants for nothing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Apparently there are two mothers in my eldest's class of twenty who spend 40,000 plus a time at the hairdressers. They go at least once every six weeks. Neither is a "looker". They don't work full time and I don't think their husbands are on 7 million either.

The saddest thing about this 30,000 yen is that for some blokes, that includes their lunch money. Their wives can't even be bothered to make them a proper bento or compensate them for it. Twenty 900 yen lunches and you're looking at 12,000 for beer, keep fit, meet your mates, video games, etc. It's not much of an existence.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Being on a kozukai can be a good thing. It forces a guy to live within a budget - which works well for me. I'll just keep spending money non-stop otherwise. It's nice to not have to thing about going and paying the bills either. My wife takes care of that. I don't even know how much our bills are.

The difficulty comes if/when one party can't trust the other. I know my wife isn't out their burning money non-stop, so it's easy to trust her to take care of the money.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Life is easier when you make a team of two with simple calculating skills.

You spend what you have and save on a monthly basis. Easy and better at every level.

Confidence is key.

The point is the left amount for personal use shall be growing with time as you get more experienced : from a few thousands yen when student to way more when you are at top of your career.

An average value is meaningless...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How about the credit cards!?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I allocate myself as much as I’d like and the try to use good judgement. Why would an adult have his life dictated to him?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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