An interesting letter from an expatriate in Japan on a variety of topics. Goes to show the incredibly constrained range of alternatives that are typically presented as the entire spectrum of possibilities in Massachusetts. If the state reimbursed everyone’s commute by the least expensive alternative, for example, I dare say transportation reform would take on a whole new meaning.
“There are many things here that make life difficult, but on the other hand, make life much easier, some planned, some dictated by circumstances and by accident. It seems very socialist. Makes it very difficult to compare Japan and the US.
There is national health care here. Due to a focus on disease prevention (they have started to take waist measurements and warn you if your waist is say more than 34 inches), not eating too much meat, getting enough vitamin D from sunlight and getting a little exercise because you have to walk 10 minutes to the train station, you can expect, on average, to be fully functional until about 75 and live into your 80s.
Almost everyone is reimbursed for commute to work, by least expensive route, say bus and train, even if you work in a convenience store.