Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with dense cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. It lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and China in the southwest.
Culture & Quality of Life
Japan is considered a highly homogeneous society, but regional variation in social and cultural patterns has always been significant. Pride of place and identification with local cultural patterns remain strong. Japanese people often attribute personality traits to people from particular regions, and regional identity often is expressed through local culinary specialties and dialects.
The work-life balance in Japan leans only to one side. Japanese people are famous for their intense work ethic, known for longer working hours. People are often seen working over-time as leaving at the end of the shift is not very appreciated in the Japanese culture.
Education in Japan
High school graduates may continue their education to high school or Technological colleges which requires the passing of an admission exam to enter. High schools generally offer a three-year program, which Evening high schools and correspondence courses offer programs for more than three years.
There are several types of high schools:
- General academic high school
- Specialized high school
Specialized High Schools target future employment in a specific job area (such as agricultural high school, industrial high school, commercial high school, etc.)
- Technological colleges
Combined with college-level education, technological colleges in Japan offer a five-year program to students who wish to gain greater technology-related skills. The specialized areas of technological colleges include industry, merchant marine-related studies, electronic/information engineering and aviation (At present, there are no technological colleges in Tokyo for merchant marine-related studies or electronic/information engineering). Graduates of technological colleges go directly into employment or continue their education at university.
- Evening classes/correspondence courses
Some high schools offer evening classes or home correspondence courses for those who work during the daytime and vice versa, and wish to receive a high school diploma. The classes and courses allow once-truant students and dropouts to learn at his/her own pace.Note: Those who do not hold a highschool diploma need to take and pass a qualification test (commonly known as daiken) to be eligible for universities’ admission exams.
The Japanese Academic Standards
The greatest appeal of studying in Japan is its academic environment where one can study state-of-the-art technology. Whether it is electronics, Japanese literature, medicine or international business administration, Japanese universities and other institutes of higher education can offer course studies or research programs of almost any field.
The ratio of students who go on to universities (undergraduate level) and junior colleges (regular courses) is also very high in Japan at 56.2% . This figure is indicative of the high standard of education in Japan. Many institutions of higher education, such as universities and junior colleges, are well equipped with state of the art research labs with up to date technologies and scholarly publications which enable students to carry out their research in an environment that promotes self-learning.
Taxation in Japan is based primarily upon a national income tax and a residential tax based upon one’s area of residence. There are consumption taxes and excise taxes at the national level, an enterprise tax and a vehicle tax at the prefectural level and a property tax at the municipal level.
National tax deducted from the part time job salary is called “Income tax”. An employer of a company or a shop owner will deduct this tax money and pay to the department of revenue instead of you. The income tax is based on the amount earned from jobs. If it is a translation work, tax deduction will be 10% for those who stay in Japan for more than one year and 20% for those whose income is more than 1,000,000 JPY. The National revenue office will report your income information to the local offices and you will be charged local municipal Taxes separate from the national tax.
The income tax that is paid to the country is deducted from each wage, but the final amount of deduction will be based on the total salary of the year. From February 16 to March 15 of each year, tax payers must file for the income tax (based on annual income minus the expenses and exemptions) by reporting whether or not the paid amount is larger or smaller than it should be. The exceeded amount, if there is any, will be refunded.
There are many foreign students who have to take part time jobs to fill the deficiency of funding for school fee and living expenses, in their odd free time. However, those with the status of “Foreign Student” in principle are forbidden from working. If a foreign student wants to work, they must get a permission from the immigration office.
Those who hold the status of “Foreign Student” and are permitted to engage in other activities (part-time jobs) are limited in principle to working up to 28 hours per week and up to 8 hours per day during extended school vacations.
Note: There is a tax deduction when you receive your payment from a part-time job.
Undergraduate university students
You must be at least 17 and under 22 years of age and have completed 12 years of school education or have completed courses in a school comparable to a high school (includes prospective graduates).
Japanese studies students
Applicants must be from 18 to 30 years old. Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduate students in faculties or schools which major in Japanese language or Japanese culture in a university outside Japan at the time when they come to Japan and must be enrolled in the home institution at the time when they return to their home countries.
You must be under 35 years of age and a college graduate (includes prospective graduates). Or you must have completed 16 years of schooling.