Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Welcome to Fiscal 2007

The Japanese are quite funny sometimes. One such occasion is the build-up to April 1st.

Like in a lot of countries, the fiscal year begins on April 1st. In Japan even more things revolve around this date.

This is the start of the school year too and children who have turned six in the previous year begin school. In New Zealand, I started school on my fifth birthday. Here, kids have to wait so all the new kids start on the same day. I'd be pretty mad if my birthday was in May and I had to wait a whole 11 months (until nearer the 7th birthday) before I could enter school.

Also lots of people start new jobs on April 1st. University ends in February and March and the new graduates enter the companies in large intakes. You can spot the new workers on the train now. They have brand new suits and matching bags, shoes are new and shining and they have white shirts and conservative ties on. Apparently it's a custom that in the first year of your career graduates are required to wear a white shirt everyday and a conservative tie. After the year is up the ties can be less conservative and then after a while it's okay to wear say a blue shirt.

This is the season for burying budgets as well. Departments in the corporations who have money left over from Fiscal 2006 splash out in March because they know if they don't consume their allocation the purse will be tighter next time round. With the opening of new budgets departments have fresh buckets of cash in April.

It's tax season too so the frequency of suicide is at the yearly high.

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