Japan’s Changing Lifestyle Values 変わる 日本人 の 生活 価値観

During the 1980’s, Japan’s economy was very strong and people got caught up in acquiring luxurious items in order to enrich their lives.
1980年代、日本の経済はたいへん強く、国民は豊かな生活を楽しむ ためにぜいたくな商品を手に入れること に夢中でした。

Under Japanese companies’ lifetime-employment management system, coupled with a seniority-reward system, employees lived stable lives, battling as Japanese corporate warriors.

However, later on, that management style, which had supported Japan’s robust economy, couldn’t function as effectively due to both the bursting of the bubble economy, and globalization.

In 1992, Japan was ranked first in the World Competitiveness Yearbook of the IMD (International Institute for Management Development), but dropped to 27th in 2010 (6th in the World Economic Forum).

On the other hand, when local governments suffering under the burden of the Great East Japan Earthquake called on volunteers for help, the response was overwhelming.

This indicates that Japanese values regarding work are changing.
これは、労働に関する日本人の意識が変わりつつあることを示して います。

The tendency to place more importance on worker satisfaction rather than on merely making money has already been underway for some years.

The results of a 2007 survey about working and living conditions, conducted by the Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training, showed the support for lifetime-employment at 86.1%.

Additionally, the number of people who supported a more equal society with a smaller gap between the rich and the poor was greater than those who supported a freely competitive society that rewards a person’s drive and talent.
また、 貧富の差が少ない平等社会を支持する人が、意欲や能力に応じて自由に競争できる社会を支持する人を上回りました。

In terms of lifestyle choice, those who want to live their own way rather than seeking wealth and status, and those who place more importance on living spiritually rather than materialistically rich lives, exceeded 80% respectively (multiple replies).
生活意識について は、富や地位を求めてがんばるより、自分の納得いく生活を送りたいと望む人、また物質的な豊かさよりも、心に豊かさのある生活をすること に重点をおきたい人がそれぞれ8割を超えています(複数回答)。

This indicates that the Japanese are no longer interested in a competition based society.

Although Japan’s income gap continues to widen, nearly 90% of respondents said that they belong to the middle class.

Today many young men, some of who are often referred to as soushoku (herbivorous), show less interest in cars and overseas travel.

Instead of spending money, they are apt to save for their future while enjoying life within their means.

Before the Second World War, Japan was occupied with building a strong nation and people did not hesitate to sacrifice their lives for it.

After the war, people found their purpose in working hard for their company, helping the country become an economic power.
戦後は 企業の下で ひたすら働くことに意義を見いだし、日本が経済大国となる役割を果たしました。

Now that the country’s economic power is fading due to increased globalization, Japanese values are drastically changing yet again.
グローバル化が進む中で経済力が薄れてきた今、日本人の価値観に再び大きな変化が起きつつ あります。

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