tragicomical life of japanese businessmen (Tokyo - Osaka)
For years they would go out drinking with colleagues and clients, returning home drunk at 2am
before rising at dawn to head back to the office. That is how the 'salaryman' became the corner
stone of modern Japan, the white-collar worker who helped create the world's second-largest
economy after WWII. But the 'Salaryman' a term coined in the 1920's, is now becoming a figure
of the past, due to a generational shift. This fact has huge implications in a country in which the
company is the dominant institution in people's lives, and affects Japanese society as a whole.
The salaryman system has buckled under the strains on the Japanese economy. Government
figures in 2014 revealed that Japan's population shrank for the third year running, with the
elderly comprising 25% of the total for the first time. The proportion of people aged 65 or over is
predicted to reach nearly 40% of the population in 2060, the government has warned. Having
lost over half a million people in the past two years and with projections of at least a 50 percent
decline in the population through the end of this century, Japan sits at the leading edge of
population change beginning in other parts of East Asia as well as Europe.