22.2.22 22:22 and 22°

22 Feb

On the Japanese calendar, it is currently the year 「平成22年」 (“Heisei 22“). (Click here to read my FAQ about the Japanese calendar.)
So that means today’s date is 平成22年2月22日 (Heisei 22/2/22).

And the current time in Japan is 10:22PM…or 22:22 (on the 24-hour clock).

And, I’m serious, I just looked at the thermometer in my house…the temperature (indoors) is 22°C.

So, it’s “Heisei 22 February 22 at 10:22PM and 22°C”…or “22.2.22 22:22 and 22°“! 😉


On a different subject…
I saw a chart of the sales tax rates for 145 different countries around the world.

When I came to Japan, the sales tax here was 3%. But about six years later, it was increased to the current rate of 5%.
Around the same time, the Japanese government passed a law that stores and restaurants must display the “after tax” prices on everything they sell.
It’s very convenient. The price displayed on everything in stores in Japan is the price you pay…no need to calculate sales tax.

Anyways, according to this list…
Canada‘s sales tax is 5%, same as Japan.
South Korea and Australia have 10% sales tax,
China and Brazil have 17% tax,
England‘s is 17.5%,
Russia is at 18%,
Germany, Holland and Greece pay 19% sales tax,
France is 19.6%,
Italy has 20% sales tax,
and Sweden, Denmark and Norway have the world’s highest sales tax rate…25%!

What’s the sales tax rate where you live?
Is the cost of living high? Are salaries high too?


29 Responses to “22.2.22 22:22 and 22°”

  1. cuteandcurls February 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Interesting facts about the Japanese year, I had to really understand that to get the gist of your explanation…unique if i may say so.

    Sales tax, no idea, as I come from a country where theres no income or sales tax implemented. However where I currently live, cost of living is very high depending on which area you choose to live, salary varies and tax-wise I guess its average because if its high we’d prolly left and returned to my homeland instead….economy-wise Im not good in this topic 😛


    • tokyo5 February 26, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

      The Japanese count the year with both the Japanese calendar and the Western one.

      But the official one is the Japanese year.


  2. nihaojapan February 25, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Hi, thanks for stopping by and leaving message on my blog, and reminded me this year it’s Heisei 22 Nen.

    You have a wonderful blog.

    By the way, about the list of sales tax rates, China has no unitary sales tax rates, different items apply different rates from 1% up to 45% or so. 17% on the list is VAT. So put together, some luxury goods or highly profitable goods, such as cigarettes, may have prices that contain more than 60% taxes in it. I think China is one of the highest taxed countries.


    • tokyo5 February 26, 2010 at 1:51 am #

      45%? 60%? That sounds crazy high!


  3. The Naked Listener February 24, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    Fat bloody chance that’ll be!


  4. thenakedlistener February 24, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    That’s right. Hong Kong and mainland China are separate customs territories. The reason for this is that HK operates under the “one country, two systems” arrangement, so that the British colonialcrats are still running the show here. But we are going to get a sales tax in a few years. Our British-trained civil service is particularly good at telling ‘untruths’ (read: lies) so that our ever-come-lasting sales tax probably will be higher than 19%.


    • tokyo5 February 24, 2010 at 12:12 am #

      I think 5% is fair…the amount that some countries pay seems absurdly high to me.


      • The Naked Listener February 24, 2010 at 12:46 am #

        Agree with you completely. Back in the old days, it was the ‘tithe’ (10%) and considered quite high. Today, most societies have taxes and interest rates that are legally ‘usury’ (i.e. over 6% p.a.). Why the high rates? Well, put it this way: why is it that toilet seats in public facilities cost the government US$1,200 apiece? How does the government pay for this shenaaz?


      • tokyo5 February 24, 2010 at 12:48 am #

        So I guess if your country’s sales tax really does go from 0% to 19%, everyone’s salary’s will surely go way up too.


  5. The Naked Listener February 23, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Zero sales tax in Hong Kong! But we’re going to get one in the next couple of years. And most likely it’ll be split between the UK’s VAT or the American federal-state-city-whatever model. Bummer.


    • tokyo5 February 23, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

      Hong Kong has been part of China since 1997…but you don’t have to pay 17% sales tax like China?


  6. David February 23, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    In the UK (listed as “England” in your post) the 17.5 tax rate does not apply to all items.

    There is a reduced rate of 5% for certain items like fuel. And some items (books, food, children’s clothes) are not taxed at all.


    • tokyo5 February 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

      >In the UK (listed as “England” in your post) the 17.5 tax rate does not apply to all items.

      I wrote the country names and tax rates as they were written on the list I mention in this post.

      It says 「イギリス 17.5%」 (“England 17.5%“).

      >some items (books…) are not taxed at all.

      Why don’t England and Germany tax books? Is it like that in all of Europe?


  7. TEAU6670 February 23, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    I want to sell tickets to the day when time of Narita.

    22-2-22 Time 22:22.


  8. TEAU6670 February 23, 2010 at 8:34 am #


    22-2-22 Time 22:22


    • tokyo5 February 23, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

      I don’t understand what you mean.


  9. GB in GR Michigan February 23, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    Sales tax in the US is assessed by the individual states. It runs from 0% (New Hampshire and a few other states) to a high of 8% in California. Michigan is at 6% right now. Wouldn’t be surprised to see more states raise the rate as there are so many states facing financial crisis right now with huge budget deficits.


    • tokyo5 February 23, 2010 at 2:30 am #

      I know that states determine their own sales tax rate in America.
      I wonder if salaries are higher in states with higher taxes.


      • Tsukareru February 23, 2010 at 3:01 am #

        – I wonder if salaries are higher in states with higher taxes.

        Normally, yes.

        In Kentucky, it’s been 6% for a long time. Food (as in groceries, not restaurant, prepared or packaged foods) and prescription medications is tax-free.

        There’s a great deal of poverty here, so it’s been seen as unwise to tax those life-or-death things. Many other rural states have a similar exemptions.


      • pongrocks February 23, 2010 at 9:12 am #

        That’s a really good idea with taking no taxes for food and meds… The only things with reduced taxes in Germany are tap water, books and magazines (all 7%)… Anyone ever tried a water and paper diet when you were short of money? ;(


      • tokyo5 February 23, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

        >In Kentucky, it’s been 6% for a long time.

        I think America is the only country that doesn’t have one nationwide standard sales tax rate.
        I wonder why that is.


      • tokyo5 February 23, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

        >The only things with reduced taxes in Germany are tap water, books and magazines

        Tap water isn’t really taxed in Germany, right?

        And why are magazines taxed less than necessities such as food and medicine?


      • Josh September 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

        I would like to know where Tsukareru received her stat that shows salaries in America are higher than in Japan.

        I am talking about the average salary when you take out the outliers, i.e. the top 1% of highest earners

        America has a high percentage of extremely wealthy citizens which dilutes the average quite a bit.

        Japan does not have the luxury of having those extremely wealthy citizens who raise the average up.


      • tokyo5 September 13, 2012 at 7:37 am #

        I think you may have misunderstood her comment.
        It was a reply to my comment in which I wondered if the salary rates in American states with high sales tax were higher than in states with a low sales tax.
        Not comparing pay rates between countries.

        By the way, I wrote this post about two-and-a-half years ago … as I wrote, the sales tax in Japan when I came here was 3% — some years later, it was raised to the current 5% and a requirement began that stores must display the prices including tax.
        But there is a plan here now to raise sales tax to 6% in the near future … and raise it again, further in the future, to 8%!


      • Josh September 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

        I understood that you were comparing between the states, I was just wondering if she had a source or a website where one could compare salaries between countries, because I think it would be interesting to look through. Similar to the site you posted the other day comparing things between the two countries.

        I am a little sad about the rising tax rate, or the strengthening of the yen, because I am paid in American Dollars, and it just kills me, haha.


      • tokyo5 September 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

        You live in Japan but are paid in U.S. currency?

        I haven’t even seen American money for years now!
        Do you work on a U.S. military base?


  10. pongrocks February 23, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    I think the German tax rates are way too high… They put huge extra taxes on gasoline over here… in Japan as well?


    • tokyo5 February 23, 2010 at 2:28 am #

      Yes, gasoline is expensive in Japan too.

      Americans complain that gas is expensive…but U.S. has some of the lowest gas prices in the world.

      But Japan has the best public transportation system, I think.


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