No Tomorrow In Japan

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Japanese Youth Do Not Buy a Car When There Is No Tomorrow

Japan Automobile Dealers Association announced Japan’s new-car sales on Jan 7. According to the report, 3,433,829 new vehicles were sold in 2007, a 7.6 % decrease compared with the number in 2006. As I expected, many news media laid the blame on young people, who allegedly do not wish to own a car. In fact, young people, especially those in their 20s, are regarded as the “worst consumers” in Japan. They hardly drink, stay home on holidays and are enthusiastic about saving up money.

But what discourages young people from spending money is anxiety about the future. It is caused by the debt-heavy government, aging society, state-run pension system running on a shoestring and many other social problems. They know that those problems are becoming more and more serious as time passes and that they will have to shoulder heavy burdens in the future.

On top of that, Japanese people are not good at dealing with uncertain situations. According to the study of Geert Hofstede, the author of Culture’s Consequences, they have a strong tendency to avoid “uncertainty.” Therefore, when they are uncertain about the future, they tend to save money to ease their anxiety.

As a member of this generation, I can understand their frustration at drawing the short straw. In the late 80’s, people are spending money like there was no tomorrow and caused the burst of the bubble economy. And now, those who have to deal with its aftermath do not spend money because they know there is no tomorrow to count on.

Emphasis added by me.

I quoted it in full. Cutting it anywhere would have destroyed it.

Explore posts in the same categories: C.O.A.T. - Belief, C.O.A.T. - Money, C.O.A.T. - Other

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