Yen’s climb puts pinch on civilians
Financial news remained gloomy for civilian federal workers in Japan and South Korea this week.
The Japanese currency continued to grow in strength in recent days, causing the value of the dollar to slump to an unusual low of 92 yen, according to the military exchange rate posted by Community Bank on Monday.
Meanwhile, post allowances for most civilian workers in Japan and South Korea remained mostly unchanged despite the reduced buying power of their paychecks.
Allowances at Yokosuka Naval Base actually fell on Sunday to 35 percent from 42 percent of expendable income, which is considered pay left over after housing, savings and health care costs, according to new figures released by the State Department’s Office of Allowances.
Civilian post allowances — similar to cost-of-living allowances the Defense Department sets for military members — are adjusted every two weeks by the State Department, which monitors national exchange rates and civilian buying habits.
Civilians in South Korea now receive no post allowances after rates were dropped to zero earlier this month following a yearlong decline in the Korean won.
Most of the world is still reeling from a financial crisis that rippled out from the United States in September.
The Japanese yen has managed to stay strong over the past few months while the Korean won has been the worst-performing Asian currency this year.
Overall, the value of the dollar has slumped against the Japanese currency this year, hovering below 100 yen.