I am sure that many of you saw this one in the Japan Times early this week.
One of my pet bilateral projects, when I can get it going, is to find out how many Americans are kept out of the Employees’ Pension System in Japan and are forced into the Basic Pension (kokumin nenkin).
As it’s so clear that the Basic Pension amounts to a voluntary scheme, it has the effect of forcing compensation down in high supply jobs (like teaching English), because people who don’t participate simply underbid those who do pay the premiums.
(This is what U.S. social security would be, if the Republicans ever privatized it or made it optional: a shakey pension plan where low-bid wages force people from even considering contributing to it. Instead, it is currently a tax, and you see it’s no issue in America.)
I don’t think it’s fair the Japanese who work in America should benefit from U.S. social security, but Americans who work in Japan can only benefit from their pension systems at a personal loss.
I really think it’s a treaty violation, and have to find out if the citizenry is giving an avenue to lodge a statement or an “information” about this violation.
Japan is not rushing to fix the Basic Pension, and it’s talked to death to the point where I think people just fall asleep when it’s the subject. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . .