TOKYO (February 11): WORKAHOLIC and wealthy Japan is discovering money isn't everything. Bank accounts have grown healthier in the past years, but the quality of Japanese life is still far below the standards of other major nations. 'We are the world's highest paid workers, but still live in rabbit hutches, pay exorbitant prices for food and land, and cannot take more than a week off for a holiday,' said one Japanese bank employee. 'Japanese are just starting to learn to enjoy life,' said Hideo Nagafuchi, a marketing and sales executive at Nissan Motor. The younger generation is having a particular influence, he said. Just out of university, a new employee in the electronics industry makes three million yen (about HK$180,000) a year. But high taxes and social security payments, long working hours, poor housing and high costs of goods topped the grievances, a government survey showed. The Labour Ministry, which sees more leisure time as a key to better Japanese life, is promoting a cut in work days. Fewer work hours would also give Japanese more time to spend money and thus help the economy grow. Setting an example, the government started closing offices two Saturday a month from January, breaking away from the traditional six-day work week. Securities houses and banks also decided to further reduce office time for employees and will initiate a five-day work week starting this month. Employees at such businesses had worked two Saturdays a month. 'Japanese work far too many hours,' Sanwa Bank chief economist Shigeru Matsushita said. Although most employees of major companies have 20 days of vacation a year many believe if they take more than five days allotted time they might ruin chances of career advancement.