Japan is trying to reform its national pension system, but recent political turmoil -- the fall of Yukio Hatoyama's government over his wishy-washiness on U.S. base issues and subsequent poor showing in Prime Minister Naoto Kan's first election -- has made that a difficult goal to achieve. In Japan there are two different Social Security-like systems, Employees Pension Insurance for anyone working for a large company with 20 or more employees, and National Pension Insurance for workers in smaller companies and anyone who is self-employed. Like Social Security in the U.S., enrollment in a pension system is mandatory, but there's no mechanism to force people to make their payments into the National system, making it easy for younger Japanese to essentially opt out entirely. (Several politicians including the current Prime Minister got in trouble for not making their payments a few years ago.) Considering the challenges Japan faces, they really need strong leaders who will work together to find the best answers for the country.
Every year J-List brings a huge number of awesome Japanese calendars to our customers, which feature the best anime, JPOP, traditional photography and other themes. We're happy to report that 2011 Calendar Season is officially started! While it'll be another couple weeks before we get the bulk of this year's calendars in (still waiting for the big list to be released), you can start browsing now.
Japan's pension system is so complex, they have to make horrible graphics like this to understand it.