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Posted in: Tokyo governor unveils plan to lure foreign business talent See in context

Tokyo needs this, but it will take more than a relaxation of the regulations and I doubt there is much external pent up demand to come to Tokyo.

It's an ok place to live for a couple of years as a youngish single person, but if you bring your family the overall social infrastructure is very poor.

The absence of decent sized and quality accommodation in the centre and outer parts of town; the overall absence of green spaces or quality play areas for children severely undermine the attractiveness of whatever job opportunities there may be for mid-career professionals with a family. You will not want to bring your kids up in this concrete environment.

I have never experienced any of the racism people mention here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Mizuho considers making English an official language in workplace See in context

Their service is poor in Japanese - do they think the same service in English will make it better?

Totally agree. They are possibly the worst Japanese bank in terms of service. If they can read and speak English however, they may learn that ATMs in the West don't close at midnight on a Saturday and are not unavailable on national holidays.

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Posted in: New immigration laws hinder some married expats returning to UK See in context

They must be crazy.

If they are this poor then life in the UK will be tough. There are plenty of better countries in the world to live for them.

If they have kids, will they really send them to some godawful British school? If they earn less than 18K then they will probably end up in a terrible catchment area and some school where they simply hold the kids till home time.

Yeah, it's OK visiting the UK now then but the thought of going to live there with the crappy salaries, high costs of living and taxes, pretty rubbish public services, high crime, general aggressiveness, terrible schools etc - you've got to wonder.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese mamachari bicycles arrive in London See in context

The UK government should impose import restrictions on these things: they are a plague on Japanese society.

If they should be allowed, the only glimmer of hope is that people in the UK need to take a cycling proficiency test so actually know how to ride a bike and navigate the streets with ride with some degree of common sense (cycling on the right side of the road, not on the pavement, stopping and looking when pulling out of a junction, signalling when you make a move - all things that are not taught or enforced in Japan).

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Posted in: The importance of social etiquette in urban Japan See in context

The one rule to live by in Tokyo is: I am the only person that exists.

Treat others as non-existent and you'll be alright. Barge, shunt, and ignore like the natives. It's the only way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: No. of highly skilled foreign professionals in Japan remains low See in context

I checked the criteria and could pass the points test if I weren't here already on a spousal visa.

Mostly my professional career is quite rewarding but unemployment terrifies me here. If I look at the recruitment sites or speak with head hunters there are basically no jobs in my field. In Europe or North America by contrast there are a lot of opportunities, combined with good opportunities for career enhancement. In Japan I'm kind of plodding along, earning money and trying to build my reputation. I don't mind doing this for a few more years but tend to continuously expect that to further progress my career I will need to gain more international experience eventually. The lack of any real viable alternatives and this fear deters me from settling permanently or buying a house as I may have to leave any fiscal year.

The big thing that increasingly me concerns me is the social environment. As a single man Tokyo was fun, but now with a family my priorities are changing: I would like a garden or access to nice parks; ease of access to foreign countries and an environment with a sense of history. Tokyo has some good aspects: relatively safe, some good restaurants or shops, but on other things it seems a bit dull and not really well connected. Each time I come back from Narita I can't help but notice the decaying buildings and overall worn look of it all.

In conversations with colleagues I get a similar sense. One, who is currently being headhunted sees some good career opportunities in his area, but his partner refuses to live here simply because the environment is not that good for raising children.

Points by themselves are all well and good, but there a lot of different factors that are related to this: the relatively closed and opaque employment system; overall property environment; connections to other countries and so on.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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