Why All Foreigners Leave Japan

Why do (most) all foreigners end up leaving Japan? I have lived here in Japan over 5 years, speak Japanese, and have made many friends, but many of them end up leaving Japan and going back to their home countries.

Why does this happen, and why do so few people stay in Japan long-term? Actually, my wife (non-Japanese) and I were planning to leave Japan this year for family reasons, but have been unable to because of the pandemic so we have been thinking about this topic a lot lately.

If I missed anything, please let me know your ideas in the comments.

intro – 0:00
Why move to Japan? – 2:05
Limited term contracts – 3:13
Salary ceiling – 4:58
Start from zero after each transition – 5:56
Work as Japanese salaryman – 7:00
Family – 7:45
What is the cost of living in Japan / sacrifice? – 8:37
Culture differences / isolation – 12:02
Natural disasters / weather – 13:27
Japan pension system – 15:31
Starting a business in Japan – 18:30
Why we love Japan – 20:08

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32 Replies to “Why All Foreigners Leave Japan”

  1. Velocity Slays

    I feel as though this video is a tad “outdated”(lacking better use of terminology.)and what you refrence to is the general population of people but yet to think about the people that actually have done time studying. I’ve researched and inquired with alot of people (not to say that this video is wrong, i feel like it makes some really good points!) Although, at the same time with the right mindset and research done whether it would be (overseas or whilst in the country ) You can guarantee somethings and plan a lot of things out! You make some good points and I understand what/where you coming from. You either have known someone or read into to it and saw why some people left or somewhere within that “area”. Yet I do feel like the title ‘Why all foreigners leave Japan.” Is more of an eye-catcher if anything. I know people who are on their way to permanently residency and naturalization to reside in Japan permanently(Myself included.) But the bottom line is, if you factor in key details and realistic pro/cons, Japan in all honesty may really be the place for you! I have found it to be the place I want to be, and if you feel the same give it shot! You never know! Don’t let this video discourage ya!

  2. Jiun Salinas

    My mom currently works in Japan (for more than 4 years now I think) She's also from Nagoya. And it's true that the salary there is higher compared here in the Philippines. But the cost of living in Japan is also higher. Which means she has to live frugally so that she can support us with what we need. The "higher salary" concept will only be a benefit to the foreigner's family If he/she lives frugally… Salute to other Foreigner Workers who support their own family even if it means sacrificing comfort for the sake of their loved ones!! May you be blessed in all that you do and may you all stay safe!🙏🏻

  3. oscar

    The crime rate of Vietnamese in Japan is the highest among foreigners. Japan will be difficult for Vietnamese to live in from now on. You guys would be more comfortable living in Vietnam.
    In many countries, their citizens and their families can return home. Have you tried contacting the Vietnamese Embassy?

  4. Aidan Bro

    i was really interseted in the overall feel of japan (and no i am not a weeb) many chefs and waiters have told me to go visit there, defietntly soudning like a desiered place to live, ill stick to being a tourist.

  5. Dr. Vincent H.V. Tran

    I was aplying for a job opening in the Japanese Ministry of Health just before the pandemic and as it is now the position is still open for me but after watching and reading the comments on this video I am not so sure if I should make a big change in my carrer by going to work in Japan.

  6. Hernandes Chrisna Priyanto

    I want to go there cuz my salary on my country is too low 1 month 100usd if work there 1000usd thats make sense even i know just for 3-5 years contract , its not about anime or weeb and other its about want to earn lot of money and use that money to reach my goal on my country .

  7. Ryo Koike

    You reminded me of my unforgettable experience of having a bike stolen.
    It was difficult to see the cut locks, and the bike missing from the front porch of the house.

    It’s interesting that you mentioned earthquakes and weather in your reasons for leaving Japan.
    It is surprising because in all the other videos that I have watched, I don’t remember anyone else talking about earthquakes and natural disasters.

  8. John Burang

    I live and work in japan for so many years . But still me & my family don't want to leave japan . And our choice because we are registered here in other words my grand father is japanese . I work as japanese interpreter & etc. And for you leaving japan it's your choice we have nothimg to do with that .

  9. Mauricio U

    Wooow all you mentioned make me think that is cool to live in Japan, you get the similar experience living in Chile Latinamerica, paying high taxes, earthquakes, the state keeps your whole pension until you reach 65 years you get a little % of it each month, Chile is 3rd world, neoliberal, president has 4% of community approbation, meager culture, bad security, tax fraud from politicians and police, repression, etc, you are living a dream that personally I would like to live :'(

  10. dat boi

    Japan is beautiful place… I went there for vacation it was like a dream country but after you working there.. the dream become a bit of nightmare and you want to leave..

  11. اكتشف كوكب اليابان Discover Japan

    Japan is a worst country in the world
    I have left my wife and a beautiful son in Japan because of their ridiculous culture discrimination against foreigners and racism

  12. CptEddyPrice

    If the money wasn't a problem I would move to Japan. I would hate to work there though… the work environment seems way too strict ( long hours a lot of the wasted, the way they report mistakes and a lot of back talking etc. )

  13. First Name Last Name

    50K a year doesn’t go very far in the US either. Unless you are willing and able to live in very rural areas you aren’t going to experience a sense of financial security here either

  14. Pascoal Freitas

    Japan will be an awesome place to get some fun when China starts the 3° WW.. kamikazes will come back, I know

  15. Brian H

    Ultimately, foreigners are not allowed to immigrate (although there are a few exceptions – like sumo wrestlers). My wife is Japanese and in spite of this I can not become a citizen. My wife and I currently live in the United States. We might go back and live in Japan after I retire, but we would live on what I had saved while in the U.S. I lived in Japan for 3 years when I was younger, but came to the realization that I would never be completely accepted no matter how well I could speak the language, or how well I understood the culture. I had some good friends, but ultimately I was still on the "outside" of things.

  16. K Damian

    Lived there for 7 years initially intending to stay for 2; I am half Japanese, fluent in the language and always wanted to see my mother's home country. I went over as I was recruited by one of the most prestigious hotels in Japan (one of the big 4). I was working 14 hour days having to do overtime pretty much everyday, no life outside of work, was not making as much money as I could back home.

    They pull sneakies like including overtime pay in your default salary from the get go to make you work the legal overtime limit every month which is pretty scummy, food was not so great, could even be radioactive lol especially considering I was eating from convenience store most of the time (and we know where those rice come from fukushima cough cough), had a Japanese girlfriend who I dated for 3 years eventually breaking up due to lack of time outside of work etc.

    Other not so great things include rascism, work culture in general, poor working conditions (everything is a makeshift temporary band aid fix). During my final year there I had to see a psychiatrist which was shocking (as I had never thought I would need those services ever) because I was losing hair due to stress, panic attacks which made commuting to work even more difficult. By then I knew I was at a tipping point and had to get out. The Japanese society has a way of shaping you into something you are not.

    The moment I landed on the airport of my home country, my panic attacks disappeared, I make more money than I was there now, and my mental health has recovered. My advice is, only go there if you can definitely make more money than you can in your own country or if you have a skillset that Japan really lacks and will pay you very good money or try hard to keep you (by going 'easy' on you or willing to overlook your lack of 'Japanese common sense')

    Otherwise, why stay in a country paying higher taxes to support the ageing population with minuscule salary; oh and the Olympics, what a waste of money and such shit show that has become.

  17. Bruce Wayne

    when calculating your real salary after adjusting for PPP, you really want to add about $15k to $20k on top of what you make because 1. rent in Japan is suuuuuuuuuper cheap compared to big cities in the US (the national average is $1.4k, in big cities such as NYC or SF a 1 bed cost $3k+). 2. health insurance in Japan is also super cheap, not to mention dental coverage is even cheaper. So all together, if you are moving from NYC to Tokyo, you can potentially save $25k+ a year from rent alone. Together with health insurance, dental all together you are looking at $30k+ saved from moving to Tokyo. If your salary in Japan is $30k, you are really looking at $60k in NYC or $45k – $50k in other places in the US. Two people making $30k+ a year in Japan will get you a pretty comfortable life if you know how to save.

  18. John dude

    Why people give up on japan, you have a complex language system that demands more of a foreginer then a native. If you got a language where even the natives dont know what is written, but demanding the tourists/workers to know it. They are not wanting people. "japanese customs work where if they dont want your good, they put it on hold until it expires and returns it because it's it's expired"


    people need to realize that every country lacks something or the other. personally i think Europe has the best lifestyle. every country in east n south east asia has their own problems. while in the american countries, they have their own issues

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