Cost of living - Water and safety was free in Japan.

You have to be ready for high rent if you set up a branch office in Tokyo, the center of business in Japan. Many statistic shows living cost there is always keeping high rank in the world. Population of Tokyo metropolitan area is estimated over 33 million and the world highest. You can imagine office rent must be high there because of high demand. According to US real estate company, Cushman & Wakefield, average Tokyo office rent is 1,274 Euro per square meter and 5th among cities in other nations. 1

Housing cost - Needless to say, it is high. If you want to live in the best location in the center of Tokyo, average rent will be more than 400,000 yen for 3 - 4 LDK. In other hand, most of people who work in this area commute over 1 hour and the rent there goes down to 120,000 yen.
Unfortunately, space is small. Tokyo average space for rent is 42 square meters and that of New York, London and Paris is over 71 square meters2. You will notice it when you stay in a hotel in Tokyo on a business trip.
You might have thought high rent were inevitable. There are many ways to avoid. For example, you can use shared office space in good area with nice reputation of address you can put on your business cards. Also, you may not have to rent your office in Tokyo for the first place.

consumer index of food in Tokyo

Food - The Economist Newspaper Limited does a interesting research on consumer price with comparing MacDonald's Big Mac hamburger price in major cities worldwide. They call it the Big Mac Index3 and other followed to make rise of Burgernomics, ways of expressing wealth or purchase power with hamburgers. Japanese index is $4.16 compare to $4.20 in the US in 2012. Among the list, the highest is 6.81 in Switzerland and the lowest is 1.62 in India. Despite the odds, Tokyo is not bad at all. It is stable after the burst of Bubble Economy4. Especially, in lunch time, you could find inexpensive food anywhere thanks to severe competition to get as much customer as they can.

Water and air - Japanese used to say "Water and air is free". If you go to even a cheep restaurant in Japan, you can get a glass of water and air free at least and you most probably get a wet towel to wipe your dirty hand. It is hard to find place where tap water is not potable. Tokyo municipal water office is proudly selling its tap water in PET bottle. This belief had been changed after the nuclear power plant accident at the earthquake in 2011. People started to order water servers although authority have said water is safe. Japanese often acts illogically and asks over quality when something happened. It could be both your business chance and trigger of crisis.
Air does not mean only breathing air but also atmosphere and safeness. It was true that many people worried about air quality after the accident and radiation levels on each cities were reported repeatedly in news papers and broadcasted in news shows. Some even moved to west. If they thought of further crisis in the reactor, it would be convincing but if it was anxiety about air quality, it would not be reasonable. The truth is there is a certain level of radiation anywhere always on the earth. You could hardly see any radiation level report if you traveled Japan in 2014.
As for safety, Japanese cities are still the most safe in the world. Crime rate in Tokyo is 1 to 2% and violent crime rate is around 40 per 100,000 population. That of the US worst cites like Detroit, St. Luis and Oakland is over 1,500. Despite Japanese people is feeling of unsafeness recently, record shows crime cases are decreasing continuously from 2003.5

References

1. Office space across the world, Cushman & Wakefield
2. NYC, London, Paris & Tokyo, factual investigation for house rent, Recruit Sumai Co., LTd (Japanese)
3. The Big Mac Index, Jan 12th 2012 by The Economist online
4. Data from Statistic Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications published in Jan 31st, 2014 (Japansese)
5. Crime statistics in 2012, National Police agency (Japansese)

go to top