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Moving from Hong Kong to Japan decision

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  1. #11

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    Dec 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by fletcher
    Thanks all for the information.
    We are Aussies. The company is not the traditional Japanese style they say
    and a lot of foreigners are employed specially from the US.
    They do not require employees to learn Japanese but you will get better compensation if you do.
    Also working hours is 8 hours only(9-6pm) and most people don't go beyond that despite the company providing free dinner starting 7PM everyday.
    Location is Tokyo.

    I also got some feedback from friends there about discrimination specially outside Tokyo,
    some communities do not accept foreigners as their neighbors.

    Also got the same comment about the locals, they are a lot more uptight and kind of robotic in nature compared to HK locals.
    They also do not socialise with foreigners and like more to live in isolation.
    Also they say if my wife will not work and just stay at home, she will die of boredom because of very limited interaction with other people
    Based on this I would say give it a go. Even a small reduction in net income may be worth it for the experience, the better housing. Not sure about schools, but I cannot imagine anywhere worse than HK.... you'd have to check. the ability to go and see the countryside at the weekend - even skiing on your doorstep - so much more to do. I would move there in a heartbeat given the opportunity.

  2. #12

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    Oct 2010
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    Lots more to do in Tokyo than Hong Kong, for working people, expat partners and children alike. It's a big city of millions of people with hundreds of thousands of foreigners. It's also very easy to get to the mountains in winters, hills in spring and beaches in summer. We're off to a safari park tomorrow

    The only reason someone will die of boredom is if they choose to, like most big cities to be honest.

    fletcher, emx, MandM! and 1 others like this.

  3. #13

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    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by HK_Katherine
    I cannot imagine anywhere worse than HK.... .
    I guess you haven't been to Dubai, Karachi or Naples.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolboy
    I guess you haven't been to Dubai, Karachi or Naples.
    Are the schools in Dubai not good?

  5. #15

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    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by hullexile
    Are the schools in Dubai not good?
    True, but there are good schools in HK too, I don't find them inferior to Dubai's. I guess I just didn't like Dubai the city and climate overall. Trying to find the right word for it, but I find Dubai to be rather...soulless and artificial. I suppose those fancy hotels and indoor ski resorts are nice, but it doesn't really appeal to me. The traffic is worse than HK and I joke that I can't find anywhere to cross those multi-lane roads. HK's summers are hot and oppressively humid, but at least I can still go walk outside for a bit. Dubai however is unbearably hot to a degree that I just can't stand. And rampant labour abuses and inequality makes even HK look mild in comparison.
    Last edited by Coolboy; 12-07-2019 at 05:52 PM.

  6. #16

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    Nov 2005
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    one question, doesn't the japanese retirement fund works on a social security type of system, i.e. contribution is compulsory and you need to contribute a minimum number of years before you get anything out ? so you might have to put that number into your calculator in evaluating the overall package, since the one in hk you do technically own them even if you can't touch until retirement.


  7. #17

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    Oct 2014
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    I'd look for an international school with a very active parent community so that your wife can meet other expats and doesn't get bored. Tokyo is an amazing city and Japan as a country is wonderful, but it's very tough for foreigners to fully integrate with locals unless you date or marry one. Even then, I have a white friend who speaks Japanese to a high standard, married to a Japanese woman, and still experiences xenophobic attitudes on a regular basis (although granted this is in a smaller city not Tokyo). Your wife will need non-Japanese friends if she's going to have any sort of social life.

    MABinPengChau, fletcher and emx like this.

  8. #18

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    Jan 2018
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    Health insurance (kind of rolled into the taxes) was about 4000 HKD (50,000 yen) a month or so when I lived there- I think it's based on salary so higher salaried people pay more. Not cheap. Some how, my firm had me get international expat insurance and NOT pay it but then at some point I did have to pay it. Just something to look into...

    fletcher and emx like this.

  9. #19

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    Feb 2019
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    25

    As for the pay, I get 25% less net salary per month, but I overall the money is moved to pension
    where you pay like 9% of your salary and employer will share also 9%.
    They also provide additional 401k that you can either save until you retire or just get every month.
    And like twice a year bonus which is a minimum of 1month salary.

    Overall I get around 15% less every year compared to HK.
    How about the cost of living? I get mixed feedback about which one is more expensive between the two.
    They say the housing is a bit cheaper(space wise) but food is more expensive so it evens out eventually.


  10. #20

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    Jan 2018
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    Rent is cheaper but certainly not cheap but for about HK 20,000- 30,000 you get more space (say 700 to 900 square feet or so). I would say, on average, commuting times may be longer, Tokyo being so much larger than HK. Food is more expensive as is eating out but food is higher quality- so if you were buying imported Japanese fruit and vegetables and organic and such, well Japan will be cheaper. But if you were just buying local stuff then food will be more expensive. Obviously a huge variable here depending on your tastes and how much meat and such you choose to eat.

    I think I also paid more in utilities as you need heat in the winter and AC in the summer. It's not really one thing, more of an overall combination of things that may make things like food and utilities and such more expensive.

    I think school is (or used to be) easier to get into and no debentures but was still not cheap- for my daughter, the first year of high school was about 160,000 HKD back in 2003...so I don't imagine you will see huge tuition savings.


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