Posts Tagged ‘the wealthy’

The rich are getting out while the getting is good

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Come pick me up

This weekend saw the Occupy Wall Street movement reach Japan, albeit in a more lowkey fashion (for the time being, at least). The income gap is widening in Japan, but because the rich are less prone to showing off their wealth and the media is polite and doesn’t draw attention to them (unless they ask for it), mostly what we know about this gap is at the lower end, with the ranks of the working poor growing by the day.

When it comes to the rich the main difference between Japan and America is that Japan, due to even shakier financial policies and the March 11 disaster, is becoming a riskier place for them to keep their money, and according to the weekly business magazine Diamond an increasing number are taking their assets, as well as themselves, overseas. The number one destination for such high-end economic refugees is Singapore, and not just among the Japanese rich. Chinese millionaires have voted for Singapore with their feet, too, for more obvious reasons. (Sixty percent of Chinese citizens with assets of at least 10 million yuan have applied or plan to apply for exit visas.)

There are three methods for rich people to gain permission to emigrate to Singapore: Be designated as a “retiree” with at least ¥1.2 billion in assets, of which ¥600 million is transferred to a Singapore-based bank account; establish a company in Singapore for ¥7 million and run it for at least 4 years; buy property in Singapore and apply for a resident visa. Some wealthy people may not find any of these methods possible or desirable, and right now Malaysia is moving in on Singapore as the destination of choice, because the conditions for residence are much simpler — and cheaper.

Continue reading about the upper income brackets in Japan →

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