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The future of Japan

November 27th, 2009 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Fascinating article in this morning’s “Les Echos” entitled “What does Japanese youth dream of?”.

Well, for a start, did you know that (according to the journalist, of course), the average Japanese youth is spending one or two hours today…. reading books on his mobile phone!! That’s more than my 14-year-old gets through in a month, and he’s still on the paper versions. The principal editor is called Magic Island, and they have a million titles available, and it seems that anyone can start off a ‘book’ and have his readers influence its development!! Looks like I could be learning Japanese pretty soon, it sounds like fun. The parents can’t be happy though – the average mobile bill is 12000 yen, or 90 euros a month.

The article goes on to reveal that today’s Japanese youth is much more conservative than previous generations. Fear of unemployment leads to a quest for security and stability – young men dream of working in the same large company or public administration… for life and the girls all (well, maybe with exceptions) want to get married to a rich man and stay at home and look after the house.

Surprisingly, getting international experience of education or business outside of Japan is not seen as an accelerator for a Japanese career, and can even lead to individuals being penalised when compared with pure home-grown elements. And given that 31% of 15-24 year-old non-students are in temporary employment, a figure which is increasing all of the time, there is every interest in sticking around rather than galavanting all over the world.

Obviously not everyone gets a job in a large company or finds a rich husband, and one sector taking advantage of this is the smaller companies, who are able to recruit some really good people. However around a third of Japan’s youth never get this kind of opportunity, and some end up totally dependant on the virtual world which is the only one they ever end up really knowing.

There are some things which don’t change, whatever the country.

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