Japan’s young population was completely taken aback with the country’s recent surprise recession. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reacted by not increasing the sales tax that was about to go up to 10 percent next year from the present 8 per cent which was even lower at 5 percent in April. The raise in sales tax from 5 per cent to 8 per cent was a result of pressure to decrease the country’s debts and liabilities which are over $8 trillion. The second raise in sales-tax has now been postponed until 2017. A snap election has been, however, called by the Prime Minister on December 14 to discuss the economic viability of the decision taken.
A large part of the young generation feels that this decision of his could potentially hit back in the future. They believe that crucial steps like these should not be put off for the future where economic uncertainty persists. With a young population having a dearth of secure jobs, this decision could prove to be a sword hanging over the pension system. While the elder generation enjoyed the privilege of having lifetime job security, most of the young people are either working part-time or have no safety in terms of employment and income.
With the fall in inflation and increase in the rate of unemployment, it has become difficult to assess when and whether or not, the country will rise out of this economic ditch.
Meanwhile, the competition has become tougher as the neighbouring country China is emerging with high technological and industrial advances, giving the country-in-debt a worse time handling the overall growth.
The citizens are no longer in peace as the population beholds an increased percentage of elderly people and lower birth rates. Thus as the number of retiring people keeps on increasing, it leads to increased burden of pension and other benefits to them, which is again an economic crisis at this point for the citizens and the country as a whole.
As the young minds plan their best to grab the hottest jobs available, a fear surrounds them. A concern for their children’s future. Some say that, by the time the next generation starts working; sales-tax could shoot to as high as 15 percent or even more.
Contract and temporary workers have become a trend when budget cutting is being seen as the only feasible option to struggle and compete with industries of China. Big industries profits have taken a deep financial dip as yen tends to become weaker day by day.
The Prime Minister has planned a lot of actions in this regard such as inserting millions of dollars by increasing the prices, even if it means weakening of the yen. This has not received much public agreement yet and is considered to be under vision to check on public response to such an announcement. He raised health insurance premiums and other co-payment needs, even for the retired personnel.
The scarcity of available positions to get hired remains the biggest disappointment for the young generation as they see not only their owns dreams getting shattered, but also their children’s. Little or no increment in wages and purchasing power has, in addition, not made them feel any better.
With the aim of giving a better life to their children and old parents, to give them proper care and nourishment at the tender age of infancy and old age, the young continue to fight to become the fittest for the survival.
A ray of hope is still extant among many of the people in the country- a country that has successfully come out of past devastations -who hope things, will get better sooner or later.