Depreciating Yen Spurs Surge in “Working Holiday” Searches Among Okinawa and Tokyo Residents

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)

As the yen continues to depreciate, “ワーホリ” (working holiday) has become a popular search keyword among residents of Okinawa and Tokyo. The minimum wages in Australia and Canada, which are 2.5 to 3.5 times higher than those in Japan, have made these countries the top destinations for Japanese people seeking working holidays.

TOKYO,JAPAN (ADH News) – Sluggish wage growth and the declining value of the yen have led to an outflow of young labor from Japan. The attraction of working overseas has gradually increased, with the number of searches for “ワーホリ” on Google hitting a record high in March this year. This trend is especially notable among people in Okinawa and Tokyo, indicating a growing interest in working abroad among Japanese workers. 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 have become one of the main reasons for labor outflow.

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.

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.

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)

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 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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