Normal Japanese 30 years olds with permanent jobs work long hours. An astonishing 20% of the people work more than 60 hours a week. The lifetime employment contracts and the difficulty of changing jobs causes this problem.
The most surprising thing in the US is that people usually do not work long hours like the Japanese. My host family’s father usually comes home at 6:30 PM. He is not an exception, other people also come home early.
On the other hand, most Japanese fathers can not have a dinner with their families on weekdays. I think that American people enjoy their lives, and Japanese people can not afford to enjoy their lives now. The Japanese are like “the Grey Gentlemen” in the novel of Momo written by Michael Ende.
We should change our working environment and eradicate the most shameful word, Karoshi (death from overwork) , and then we can afford to enjoy our lives, and humor.