Our mothers always told us that it’s not polite to talk about money. And while we usually listen to what our mother’s tell us, this one time we’re going to ignore their advice. Sorry, mom!

But, really, it’s not a big deal, because we’re not talking about our money. Instead, we’re talking about Japanese people’s money–specifically, how much they have saved up on average. And the number might surprise you.

Since 2002, the Japanese government–specifically the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications–has conducted a national survey to determine the average amount saved per household. In this case, household is any two family members living together, so it looks like none of the bachelors and bachelorettes were counted.

The survey for 2013 came back with some pleasantly surprising results: The average amount in saving held by Japanese household had risen 4.9 percent over the previous year. Which brought the yen amount to 17,390,000 yen or about US$171,013.26 based on the exchange rate today.

It looks like Abenomics might actually be working, since a large part of this increase is believed to be a result of rising stock prices–though we can’t help wondering if a devalued yen is also helping. Or maybe Mario’s just been sharing some of the wealth he’s made from his car commercials.

Regardless of the why, Japanese netizens had a lot to say about the results.

“I wonder if this just means that the average and the median are horribly far apart now.”

“Well, those that have money, really have money.”

“Without seeing this broken down by income, it means nothing!”

“I’m minus 500,000 yen (about $5,000), so what should I do??”

“Does everyone really actually have this much? Certainly none of my friends do. No matter how you think about it, the middle class definitely doesn’t have that kind of money. And if you included loans, I bet it would be a lot less, but do people really have almost 20,000,000 yen (about $196,700)?? I really feel depressed now.”

(In response to the above comment) “If you bought some stocks, even just doing regular trading, under Abenomics, you’d almost double your money. The Nikkei stock average has almost doubled.”

“Well, this why the ‘ore ore‘ scams are so popular, isn’t it?”

“Hell, my house isn’t even worth 10,000,000 yen (roughly $98,400)!”

“Gah! I only have 800,000 yen (around $8,000) at 35!”

“It’s just 1,000 people who’ve increased their savings by 1 billion yen (about $9,834,000).”

Cynicism and frustration aside, it does seem like an awfully high number. And as one commenter pointed out, the median and the average are likely very different. It could be that the rising tide has lifted all ships–or it could be that a few of the ultra-wealthy have just become extra-ultra-wealthy. Though hopefully it means a few hem lines will be rising as well.

So now we just have to figure out: Is this a good time to buy some Japanese stocks or are the prices about to plummet? We suppose if we knew that, we’d be writing this from the RocketNew24 Space Station One, instead of sitting in Tokyo.

Sources: Jiji, Kopipe Jouhoukyoku
Images: Wikipedia (Monaneko)