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Weak Yen Drives Japanese Searches for “Working Holiday” to Record High

by Ferre Keira
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The continued depreciation of the yen has caused Japanese people to search for the keyword “ワーホリ” to a Record high. The minimum wages in Australia and Canada are 2.5-3.5 times that of Japan, making them the most popular working holiday countries for Japanese people.


Problems such as sluggish wage growth and continued falling exchange rates have made overseas working vacations a popular trend that Japanese people pay attention to. (Photo via Merxwire)

TOKYO, JAPAN (Merxwire) – Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare recently announced that the number of foreign workers in Japan would exceed 2 million for the first time in 2023, setting a Record high. However, as the yen continues to depreciate, the attraction of Japanese people to work overseas is gradually increasing. The number of times Japanese netizens searched for the keyword “ワーホリ” (Translation: Working Holiday) on Google hit a Record high in March this year, and the search popularity remains high, indicating that it has become a popular trend for Japanese workers to work overseas. Australia and Canada are the most popular countries for working holidays in Japan, and their minimum wages are 2.5-3.5 times that of Japan, which has become one of the main reasons for labor outflow.

Issues such as slow wage growth and continued falling exchange rates have led to Japan facing an outflow crisis of young labor. Google Trends shows that Australia and Canada are currently the most popular countries, and South Korea is one of the countries that has surged in popularity recently. In addition to the many experiences shared on the Internet, good wages are the main reason for choosing these countries. The minimum wage in Tokyo, Japan, is 1,113 yen (approximately US$6.92) per hour. Australia’s national minimum wage is US$24.1 per hour, and Canada’s federal minimum wage is US$17.3 per hour, 3.5 times and 2.5 times that of Japan, respectively.

 

The minimum wages in Australia and Canada are 2.5-3.5 times that of Japan, making them the most popular working holiday countries for Japanese people. (Chart via Merxwire)

Google Trends points out that since records began in 2004, 2024 will be the most popular year for searches for the ワーホリ keyword in Japan. Among them, the areas most concerned about working holiday information are Okinawa Prefecture, Tokyo, Osaka Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, and Kanagawa Prefecture. Searchers are most concerned about working holiday visas, costs, work, language, and insurance issues. These data show that Japan’s major cities have the most people interested in working vacations and have begun researching and collecting relevant information.

According to the economic wealth data of prefectures released by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, after deducting basic expenses and commuting expenses from the disposable income of residents in 47 prefectures, the five lowest real disposable incomes are Tokyo, Okinawa, Osaka, Chiba and Kanagawa  are almost the same as the areas with the most attention to working vacation information in Google Trends, indicating that the pressure of life in these areas is high, prompting people to start thinking about working vacations abroad.

Japan relies on imports for many commodities, raw materials, and even chemical fertilizers, and the weak yen has significantly increased the cost of living. In addition to the devaluation of the Japanese currency, which has prompted more and more young Japanese people to go overseas to earn more income, many pioneers who are on working holidays abroad post content about their income and lifestyle on social media, attracting more Japanese people. People are going overseas for working holidays, and this trend has reached its peak, and there is no downward trend yet.

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