Japan at a Glance

So you are moving to Japan

A country of proud tradition, tranquil countryside and futuristic cities.

Well, before you start here are our 10 top pieces of information for expats:

  1. Japan has a history of deterring immigration however it is still home to about 20,000 Britons and more than 50,000 Americans.
  2. Japan experiences a variety of climates throughout the country. The northern end is in the subarctic zone and has bitter winters and considerable snowfall whereas the southernmost islands have a more tropical climate. Typhoons may affect areas of Japan but seldom strike Tokyo directly; however, September can bring occasional heavy rains and strong winds to Tokyo.
  3. The Japanese concepts of inside/uchi and outside/soto define the Japanese approach to life. Foreigners, whether Asian or Western, will find that they are soto or gaijin – literally outside person
  4. If you plan to work for more than 90 days and be paid in Japan, you will most likely require one of the various types of working visas issued by Japan. These visa should be obtained before you leave your home country
  5. Japanese is the official language and is spoken by all the population. The study of English is compulsory in junior and senior high schools but fluency varies.
  6. Policies by the Japanese government and central bank are set to support this rise with increased expenditure on infrastructure, the devaluation of the Yen and a program of quantitative easing.
  7. Japan has a population of about 127 million people 80 percent of which live in urban areas. A staggering 45 percent of the population are found in the three major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya; making Japan one of most densely populated countries in the world.
  8. Japan’s currency is the yen (¥).
  9. Japan’s economy is the third largest in the world with a GDP worth nearly 6tn. It is the world leader in electronic goods, including production of seemingly ‘futuristic’ technologies such as Robotics.
  10. Japan is a stable democracy and experiences little civil unrest. It has engaged in a number of territorial disputes with China in recent years but there has been little violence between the two nations.


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