In annual listings of the world’s most expensive cities, Tokyo has typically been ranked at or near the top.

Take the Mercer Cost of Living Survey, which recently reviewed 209 cities across five continents. Measuring the comparative costs of more than 200 items such as housing, transportation, food and so on, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, emerged as the most expensive. It was followed by Hong Kong (which ranked first in 2019 and 2020) and Beirut. Tokyo held down fourth place, with the top 10 rounded out by Zurich, Shanghai, Singapore, Geneva, Beijing and Bern, Switzerland.

Given Tokyo’s long-running reputation as a costly place to live then, the Aug. 28 cover story in Weekly Diamond deserves kudos for grabbing readers’ attention with the defiant headline, “Japan is too cheap.”