Wed, Dec 07, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Expatriates in Japan’s costs highest across Asia

AFP, SINGAPORE

Expatriates in Japan have the highest living expenses compared to their counterparts working elsewhere in Asia, largely because of the Japanese currency’s recent sharp rise, a global survey said yesterday.

Human resources firm ECA International’s latest survey of expatriate living costs showed Japanese cities occupied the top four most expensive locations in Asia, with Tokyo ranked first followed by Nagoya, Yokohama and Kobe.

The Japanese capital also topped the global list of most expensive locations for expatriates, according to the survey carried out in September.

The yen has risen by about 20 percent against the US dollar in the last 12 months and expatriates who are paid in currencies such as the greenback are feeling the impact, said Lee Quane, ECA International’s regional director.

“It is not because prices have risen in Japan, they are still benign,” Quane said. “Expatriates who are paid in yen won’t feel much difference, but those who are paid in other currencies such as the US dollar, will be the ones who are most affected.”

Rounding up Asia’s top 10 list of most expensive locations are fifth-placed Seoul followed by Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Busan.

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