Re: Looking back over my life and business in the United States (7) April 8, 2022

According to long working hours ranking of 38 countries in the world in 2020 by OECD, per-capita average working hour of whole employed persons including salaried workers and self-employed workers, hours worked in Japan are 1598 hours and Japan ranks 24th. Incidentally, Colombia ranks first (2172 hours), the United States 11th(1767hours), and a neighboring country, Korea, third (1908 hours). It seems to be unexpected a little bit, but it is pointed out that there is a lot of reduced working hours and non-regular employment in Japan, and these factors come over this number. But for male workers only, Japan is still top class in the world.

The image that the Japanese are “workaholics” or “long working hours” becomes established, but even in the United States business persons having a strong rise intention and so-called free-lancers like lawyers are very tough in both their work and private life. There is a three-hour time difference between New York on the east coast and the city on the west coast such as Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle, and the flight hour is about 6 hours. They preform their jobs by using this time difference. In case of going from the west to the east, I feel lucky that one day becomes three hours longer, but in the opposite case one day becomes three hours shorter. In order to attend the meeting at 9 am following morning in New York time after taking dinner in Los Angeles, they have to take a late-night flight which is commonly called as “a red eye flight”. Because their eyes are red and they look like sleepwalkers.

Taking an airplane is a must for the life and business in the United States. I got in an airplane about 120 times a year during my work in New York. I sometimes chartered an airplane like a 4 or 5-seater Cessna plane. In most cities in the United States, there is a municipal airport where small or medium planes can take off and land. In case of going to a local city, I can save time rather than the use of ordinary connecting flight, and the price becomes cheaper depending on the number of passengers.

One day, going from Seattle to a local factory in Vancouver Island on the opposite side, I used a seaplane with catapult. This plane flew after sliding on the surface of Elliott Bay and making a splash, and once it landed on the sea near my destination the pilot took out oars from the floor, and rowed the plane up to a wharf. It usually took almost half day, but I could arrive about one hour. And I made the plane standing by during my meeting, and then went back to Seattle.

In Japan, owning a corporate jet or a private jet is a big surprise with just that, but in the United States it is very common for decent companies and wealthy people. Incidentally, alongside of small airplane, a yacht is a big market which does not exist in Japan. A yacht looks like a private car in Japan for persons living near the sea or lake.

Anyway, the Americans think a great deal of spending time with their family in their private life. 246 years have passed this year since the United States was independent, and the United States is much younger than Japan or Europe. Therefore, the United States has neither much sightseeing spots nor building structures. That is why the Americans seem to produce how to enjoy with their family, such as having a barbeque in the suburbs surrounded by nature or in the garden of their house, and skiing in winter season. I felt that they enjoyed all day long by doing innocent things with their family. Playing golf, by which the Japanese spend the whole day and only fathers entertain their guests, takes about 3 hours by self-cart from the morning, and then they seem to enjoy playing tennis, swimming, yachting or horse riding. In the United States, I learned a lot about life style.

(P.S.) Fragmentation and conflict between totalitarian or communist nations centered upon China and Russia and liberal or democratic nations seems likely to become clear. A resolution condemning Russia at the United Nations Assembly was passed by an overwhelming majority that is 141 in favor, 5 against (Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria) and 35 abstentions among 193 United Nations members. But the problem is future trend of emerging nations. The things which have a great effect on it are economical relationship. The nations in which China is the largest trading partner right now are 64, and exceed 38 nations in which the United States is the largest one. It is said that GDP in China will overtake the United States in 2028, and China is drawing emerging nations near, by using a huge buying power. That is why it is important for the side of democratic nations to strengthen their economic power, base of national power, before everything and to help economic development of emerging nations.

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