how to get from 0.2% (economic growth rate) to 282.739.130.435 euro (money stuck in non-performing loans): useful data on current japan

(Stefano Mirti, 2001. All data come from: Japan Almanc 2002, Asahi Shinbun Company, 2001)

–    0.2 is the economic growth rate (1999). In the same year Korea’s was 10.7, China 7.1, USA 4.2, Germany 1.5. Since then, not much improvement (for Japan, while the rest went much worst).

–    1 is the Emperor, and his name is Akihito.

–    1.35 is the birthrate in the year 2000. The birthrate is the average number of children one woman gives birth to in her life. To maintain the current population, this rate should be 2.1 (last time Japan had such a birthrate was 1973).

–    3 are the square meters of park area for every person in Tokyo (2000).

–    4.7% is the unemployment rate (in the year 2000). In five years they managed to go from 3.3% to 4.7%. Most of the Western analysts say that the real data should be at least doubled.

–    5.5 grams of seaweed per day are in the Japanese diet (together with 162.4 grams of rice, 9.5 grams of sugar and other various things…)

–    6.63% is the American rice producer’s price per kilogram compared to the Japanese one.

–    11.24 tatami per person in year 1998.

–    14.4% is the amount of world wealth (GNP/GDP) belonging to Japan. USA have 30.3%, EU has 28.1%.

–    18 Japanese out of 100 are hopeful for their future (although for 73 of them the main feeling is misgiving).

–    25.7% of criminal cases are cleared by police within 10 minutes.

–    27 banks were robbed in the year 2000 (in all Japan, during the whole year)

–    27.9 is the average age when a Japanese girl gets married (to a boy who is 30.2). Thirty years ago, the bride was 24.6 with a 27.6 years old groom.

–    32.8  m2 as per capita dwelling floor space (not much if compared to the 60 m2 in USA).

–    35’40” is the latitude of Tokyo (slightly higher than L.A., slightly lower than Teheran).

–    35.6% is the tax pressure on money earned by people. The burden rate is similar in the USA (36.7%) getting to an amazing 62% if you are unlucky enough to be taxed in France (no figures about Italy).

–    51 are the nuclear power generation facilities in operation. They produce a total output of 44.917 megawatts, covering about 19.6% of the demand.

–    52.6% of the Japanese people have a cell-phone (67% in U.K., 71.4% in Sweden).

–    66.2 kg of seafood were eaten by every Japanese in the year 1999. Three times more than the European, but nothing compared to the Icelander (91.4 kg).

–    69% is the average rate salary of a woman compared to her male colleague (year 1999, age group 30-34).

–    84.62 years is the average life expectancy of a Japanese woman (77.64 is the man).

–    99.5 mm are the average rain precipitation in the month of March (average of the last ten years)

–    118.6% is the proportion of General Government Gross Debt to GDP (for every yen produced in the country, the government has 1.186 yen of debt). They were able to pass Italy in this close race to be the global winner,  in the year 2000. At the moment Italy holds the second place (108.3). Normal countries like U.K. are way far, with an humble 50.7.

–    120.7 is the aging index (the ratio of the population aged 65 or older to that aged 0-14). In 1950 it was 19%, went to 38.7% in 1980. Again, only Italy is able to keep their pace on this field.

–    141.1 is the labor productivity of an American worker (compared to the Japanese one that has 100). The British is more or less productive like the Japanese (102.1), while the Italian go on a fair 128.1.

–    171.9 cm is the average height of a 20 years old male (158.6 for the female one). In one century the growth has been of about 11 centimeters.

–    559 were the high-tech related criminal complaints cleared by police in the year 2000.

–    1059 are the National Treasures. We can also add 12.240 Important Cultural Properties

–    1556 Euro per person were spent on golf in the year 2000

–    1626 Euro per month is the average starting salary of an university graduate.

–    1942 were the hours spent at work by the average Japanese in the year 1999. Much more than his German colleague (1517), still less than the American one (1991).

–    3217 Euro is the average monthly wage for a Japanese factory worker. Not bad, especially if compared to his colleague in Shenzen (China) who gets 104 Euro.

–    4521 Euro is the average monthly wage for a Japanese engineer. 2.5 times better than his colleague in Singapore, 15 times better than the Chinese one.

–    7000 are the islands defining the whole country.

–    7000 Euro per month would be the average rent for an office space (200 m2) in Yokohama. In case you plan to set a start-up over there…

–    21.000 are the American soldiers based in Japan.

–    26.533 $ is the per capita national income (Swiss people get  a yearly 33.838 $, Italian only 15.390 $, American 30.019 $)

–    24.272 were the foreign brides who married Japanese men in the year 2000 (7.628 were the foreign grooms). Foreign brides come mostly from the Philippines, Korea, China and Thailand. If the groom is the foreigner, he is likely to come from the USA or Korea.

–    31.957 were the people who committed suicide in the year 2000. More or less one person out of 4000.

–    39.628 were the convenience stores active in 1999. 25.920 of them are open 24 hours a day.

–    83.600 are the Japanese people currently working for crime syndicates (unfortunately, we don’t have similar figures for USA and Italy).

–    102.956 Euro per square mater in order to buy land in Ginza (the highest value in all Japan). When the bubble economy was going strong, the value of the land on which the Imperial palace stands was the same as the land value of the whole state of California. After 15 years of recession, if the Emperor decided to sell it, he would get just the land value of the whole city of Los Angeles.

–    259.812 were the corporate bankruptcies in the year 2000. The record in this sector was set by Kyoei Life Insurance that scored an astonishing 39.388.695.652 Euro collapse.

–    405.655 patents applications were  processed in the year 1999.

–    2.509.912 is the number of companies active in Japan in the year 1999.

–    9.905.000 tons of rice where consumed in the year 1999. Do you think is a lot? Nothing compared to the 10.819.000 tons of delicious fish, half of which imported.

–    18.510.000 PlayStation were manufactured in the year 2000. If we look at the Game Boy, we go even higher: 19.920.000.  Most of them (about 3/4) were manufactured abroad.

–    30.527.856 are the people living in Tokyo area.

–    42.606.000 were the cameras produced in the year 2000.

–    52.532.111 is the telephone number of the Prime Minister Cabinet Office (his name is: Junichiro Koizumi). If you are calling from outside Tokyo add 03 in front.

–    38.189.565.217 Euro were spent in the year 1999 for corporate entertainment expenses. If this surprises you, imagine how fun it was in 1992 (when they spent about 60 billion Euro).

–    69.317.391.304 Euro is the budget for Science and Technology (Fiscal Year 2000).

–    282.739.130.435 Euro is the money stuck in non-performing loans (March 2001). Non-performing loans are loaned money whose principal is not repaid by the borrower and that do not yield interest. In March 1997 they were ‘only’  189.469.565.220 Euro. Enough to build a tower of Big Macs connecting the famous Ryoanji Zen garden in Kyoto to the Plato Crater on the Moon.

(image on top: Issey Miyake, A-POC Tube Garment ,1997)

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