Rents go down, grocery bills shrink, companies lay off workers and people move away to live in the countryside - and yet somehow Tokyo continues to be the world's most expensive city for expatriates to live in.
Most of the blame can be placed firmly on the relentless strength of Japanese currency against the U.S. dollar, according to the annual cost of living survey by international human resources consulting firm, Mercer.
The capital shot back to top of the chart, swapping runner-up position with the Angolan capital of Luanda, which came first last year. Other Japanese cities - Osaka and Nagoya - also placed in the top 10. The results show that, all in all, Japan is one of the most expensive countries on earth for expats.
It's no wonder. Mercer's findings are based on "the relative strength of the relevant currency" against the U.S. dollar in the 12 months between rankings, as well as price fluctuations over the same period, using New York as a benchmark. The survey covers 214 cities across five continents. According to data from the Bank of Japan, the average dollar rate for the survey's most recent period through February 2012 was ¥78.9, an 8.6% decline from the previous year.
Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko said farewell to U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday morning before his departure from Tokyo to South Korea, the second destination of his four-nation Asian tour. (Jiji Press )
Police in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, admitted Wednesday that they mistakenly arrested a woman in her 20s over her suspected involvement in a blackmail case which occurred in January of this year. (Japan Today )
Tokyo High Court ordered the state and a former Maritime Self-Defense Force officer on Wednesday to pay 73 million yen in compensation for the 2004 suicide of a junior crewman of an MSDF destroyer after bullying by the officer. (Jiji Press )
The Imperial Household Agency announced this week that it has received over 100,000 applications from individuals seeking to participate in the first ever public opening of parts of the Imperial Palace. (Japan Today )