This week, Eat Your Kimchi take a look at the mental well-being of Japanese youths.
According to a new report by the Varkey Foundation, a global non-profit organisation, Japanese youths have some of the lowest mental well-being out of 20 major countries, with only youths in South Korea and Turkey rating lower. Because Simon and Martina have lived in both South Korea and Japan, they've noticed that both countries have similarities as to why the mental health of young people may be so poor.
Japanese and South Korean youths are under enormous academic pressure. Entering a top university will affect their future career prospects. And when the younger generation do manage to get employment, the long hours spent working in both Japan and South Korea means that kids almost never see their parents. This has in turn led to a shift in youth culture, where younger generations are becoming disillusioned about the current working culture, and there's a growing sentiment that youths don't want to be 'salarymen' like their parents.
While all those aforementioned reasons are valid, the report states that the major reason why Japanese and South Korean youth mental well-being is so low is due to the lack of familial connection and a support system. Due to the hard-working culture within Japan and South Korea, the lack of time spent fostering familial connections means that youths are missing the support system they need.
Simon and Martina note, Japanese and South Korean 'salarymen' prioritise financial well-being over emotional well-being.
Hit the audio tab above ^ to listen to Simon & Martina talk about the mental health of Japanese youths right here at the 0:30 mark
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