Pension system in Japan

There are 127 inhabitants in Japan, and 35 million of them are retired. In 30 years it is expected that 50% of the Japanese will be retired. Immigration and natality rate are really low in Japan. Everyone between 20 and 59 years old has to pay to the pension system by law. But the big problem is that most of the young people don’t trust the system anymore and they just decided not to pay and just “save” money by their own.

I found this ad in Okinawa, it states that the pension system is the basis to “connection generations”.

The pension system and social security in general in Japan is REALLY rotten, politicians, newspapers, professors are thinking and thinking on how to solve it. Some of the most common proposals are:

  • Reduce the number of years from where you would receive the minimum pension from 25 years to 15 years. In countries like Germany with 10 years is enough.
  • Increase consumption taxes, here in Japan are ridiculously low (5%).
  • Increase immigration and natality. To solve this there are many proposals and stuff already going on but I can’t see any REAL change.

Which solutions would you propose for a country where the population doesn’t increase? This is something that in Japan is ALREADY happening and is going to start happening in other rich countries in the next decades.

Details about the Japanese pension system.


How to fart without stinking too much

I like this TV show where viewers can ask weird questions and the show will answer the questions after some research. I recorded a piece of the show where someone asked “What do I have to do if I want to minimize the stinkness of my farts?”. In the TV show they are pretty serious with all questions, and they even called university professors to help them to find the solution to this difficult question. If you don’t know Japanese just watch from minute 5, and if you just want to see the final answer to to minute 7.

Do you have any technique better than the one showed in the video?

Other posts about farts, shits and pee:


Reflex market share in Japan

I found this interesting pie chart showing reflex cameras market share in Japan during 2007:


Nikon and Canon are more or less the same, and together they have more than 80% of the market. I did not found data for Europe or the USA, but I guess Canon and Sony have much more market share outside of Japan. Dominance of Canon and Nikon is nothing new, what is noticeable here in Japan is that Olympus and Pentax are starting to take off.

Right now I have a reflex Nikon, a compact Canon, and a Fujifilm super-zoom. I love them all, each brand has his way to organize menus, limitations, advantages etc. And that’s good because you learn a lot from one camera’s limitations and the other one advantages and the other way around.


100 million super-mega-region

My brother recommended me Richard Florida’s blog a while ago. It happened that while I was in Hamburg last week, Richard Florida was also there and he was talking in the same conference as Danny. My brother bought one of his books after the conference, Who’s your city. I’ll talk more about this interesting book in other posts, but right now I just wanted to featured this paragraph about Japan’s overpopulation.

Greater Tokyo, home to more than 55 million people and responsible for nearly 2.5 trillion in economic output, is the world’s biggest mega, with world-class strengths in finance, design, and high technology. The second Japanese mega-region, stretching for Osaka to Nagasaki, is home to 36 million people who generate 1.4 trillion in output. Its niche specialties include high-tech innovation and manufacturing- from automobiles to cutting-edge electronics. Fuku-kyushu houses 18 million people and produces 430 billion in LRP, while Greater Sapporo is home to more than 4 million people producing 200 billion in LRP. The boundaries of Japan’s great mega-regions are already blurring. Much of Japan may be well on its way to becoming the world’s first integrated super-mega-region- a single, gargantuan, and geographically overlapping economic entity of more than 100 million people producing 4.5 trillion in LRP.

In this map the super-mega-region structure can be appreciated, almost all Japan is connected.

Mega region
Map from Richard Florida’s book, extracted from his website.

Read more:



I’m in Hamburg relaxing a bit with friends and my brother. It feels good after so many months of Tokyo, Tokyo and Tokyo 🙂

I took this picture using my new 10-20mm Sigma lens. I envy this dog, I’ll try to imitate him these days.