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Philip Brasor

For Philip Brasor's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Premium Friday is not about taking a holiday

| Feb 25, 2017

Premium Friday is not about taking a holiday

The anonymous writer of Asahi Shimbun's finance-related Keizai Kishodai column pointed out in the Feb. 18 edition that Japanese people only think of time off on a day-by-day basis, whereas Europeans tend to conceptualize it in week-long blocks, as "vacations."

Popularity of card loans add to financial woes

| Feb 25, 2017

Popularity of card loans add to financial woes

Supreme Court records show that there were 64,637 filings for personal bankruptcy in 2016, an increase of 781 cases over 2015, thus marking the first increase in 13 years. The number of personal bankruptcies peaked in 2003 at almost 250,000 nationwide. The reason for ...

Japan's 'Undercover Boss' reinforces stereotypes at work

| Feb 18, 2017

Japan's 'Undercover Boss' reinforces stereotypes at work

The government proposal to limit overtime for salaried workers is supposed to reduce the incidence of karōshi (death from overwork), which often takes the form of suicide, and yet the authorities seems squeamish about making demands on employers. In Japan, the good of the ...

Foreign workers: Should they stay or should they go?

| Feb 11, 2017

Foreign workers: Should they stay or should they go?

As the rest of the world debated the ramifications of U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban on persons from seven Muslim-majority countries last week, Japan was notably silent. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently going out of his way to placate the new American ...

Resorting to adoption to avoid inheritance tax

| Feb 11, 2017

Resorting to adoption to avoid inheritance tax

Revisions to the inheritance tax went into effect in 2015, and related statistics for that year were recently made public by the National Tax Agency. The main change had to do with the basic deduction. Before 2015 the deduction equaled ¥50 million plus ¥10 ...

New housing options get smaller in the city

| Feb 4, 2017

New housing options get smaller in the city

Last month this column discussed how lack of city planning in the suburbs had led to an over-supply of new housing that exacerbated the well-publicized vacant-home problem. It should be noted, however, that populations in suburbs throughout Japan are declining — some slowly, others ...

Media starts to focus on Japan's aging prison population

| Jan 28, 2017

Media starts to focus on Japan's aging prison population

When it comes to crime and punishment, Japan is a conundrum for progressives. It has low crime rates and small prison populations, but it is also one of the few developed countries that still enforces capital punishment, and its criminal justice system is often ...