During a recent conversation with a student in his sixth year at a university renowned to be an incubator for Japanese politicians, 23-year-old Atsugi Fukuhara tells me that he wants to stay a student forever.

The past five years have consisted of a lot of drinking and partying, though he also spends a good proportion of his time working. His university fees are around ¥1 million per year, and to cover this, and keep him in beer and cigarettes, he works night shifts at a hotel. His major is political science, but he’s never voted.

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