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What's The Cost Of Being The Hardest Workers In The World? | Deciphering Japan | Episode 2/4

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Published 1 year ago

Japan's work ethic famously propelled it into a first world nation and the Japanese are known to work some of the longest hours in the world. Ironically, it is among the least productive economies today and one that has remained stagnant for over two decades. Washington-based journalist Yumi Araki heads back to her native home to find out why the Japanese work so hard. As the nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and with ever greater economic pressures, Yumi also explores if that unbending dedication to work is changing. She meets people across a spectrum of the nation’s workforce: from overworked salarymen at their wits end and the therapists trying to keep them sane, to farmers obsessed with growing the perfect fruit and university students preparing for Japan's notorious job hunting season.

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About the series: Japan famously has one of the highest life expectancies in the world but its birth rate is also at an all time low, leaving the future of the country uncertain. Washington-based journalist Yumi Araki returns to the country of her birth to explore how Japan is planning to cope with the consequences of its fast-greying population. She discovers the unexpected impacts of an ageing nation: from dying towns to the popularity of coffin experiences. And meets the people working to find solutions: from an engineer working to give us superhuman strength to a granny who is using hiphop to keep loneliness at bay.
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