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News from Japan - January 20, 2022

Shower in the kitchen?

Une douche dans la cuisine, un nouveau modèle d'appartement à Tokyo

In large Japanese cities, such as Tokyo, the space available in apartments is limited. With the pandemic keeping people at home, the demand for homes that optimize their space is increasing.

So, the promoter Mitsubishi Jisho Residence proposes a new concept: a shower placed in the fitted kitchen-bathroom space. In The Parkhabio kameido complex in Kōtō (Tokyo), the PS3-shaped building optimizes living space. Thanks to the Roomot plan (contraction of the English words “room” - “piece” and Japanese “motto” - “plus”, living space is maximized and water and gas consumption reduced.

Already in 2009, the promoter unveiled his concept of Mixink, a project in which the kitchen and the bathroom were one, sharing the same sink. Thus, bathtub, shower, sink, medicine cabinet, cupboards and stove occupy the same space. Seen as cramped for some, practical for others, everyone has their own vision of Mixink.

Even more recently, the agency questioned the use of the bathtub, although it has an important place in Japanese culture. Some residents are ready to sacrifice it to optimize their space in the apartment. Finally, the occupant is left with the Roomot shower, with a bathtub removed and a shower open to the Mixink kitchen/bathroom area.

According to the company, the Mixink design significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the apartment by almost 250 kg, with the shower reducing it by an additional 30 kg. In addition to being environmentally friendly, it lowers electricity bills.


Lowest record of foreign tourists in Japan

Depuis le début de la pandémie, les aéroports japonais sont vides

Japan welcomed 245,900 foreign tourists in 2021, a decrease of 94% compared to 2020, and even 99.2% compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic). The archipelago has reached the lowest threshold since 1964, in particular due to the pandemic and reinforced border controls.

The month of the year when foreigners arrived the most is in July (51,055), thanks to the Tokyo Olympics held from July 23 to August 8. Unfortunately for the country, spectators were not allowed during the event, in order to limit the spread of the virus on its territory.

Since then, the number has been falling, with for example 12,100 visitors in December, an 80% drop compared to the previous year.

The most present foreign travelers are China (42,300 people), but experiencing a drop of 96%. Next come the Vietnamese (26,500), Americans (20,000) and South Koreans (19,000). The Japanese, they were 512,200 from visiting abroad in 2021, a drop of 83.9%

The Japanese government's goal in 2020 was to welcome 40 million visitors. That year, the country was supposed to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but the latter were postponed for a year. Japan, however, would like to attract 60 million foreign visitors in 2030, although it is difficult to anticipate whether this will be possible.


Productivity at work: Japan bad student

Les japonais ne sont pas productifs au travail

We often hear that the Japanese work a lot, but are they effective for all that? Apparently not, according to the OECD Labor Productivity Rankings. The index is used to measure work efficiency and corresponds to the quantity of products or services that an employee provides in one hour.

Japan occupies the last place among the G7 countries, a place occupied since the 1970s. In 2020, Japanese productivity was 49.5 dollars (5,086 yen) for one hour of work. The country of the Rising Sun occupies 23rd place (out of 38) of OECD member countries, i.e. 2 places lost compared to the previous year. This is less than half of Irish productivity, which topped the charts at $121.8.

Among the G7 countries, the United States occupies first place, ahead of France second. The French are 9th among OECD member countries.

In particular, Japan lost places due to data on job preservation thanks to employment adjustment subsidies. Japanese productivity was about 60% of that of the United States.

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