As in other countries around the world, higher prices and sluggish economies are making teachers' lives just a little more financially troubled in Japan.
Such money worries may have been the cause of one young high school teacher's impromptu decision to tap a student for a loan of 300,000 yen (about pound;1,500).
According to the Mainichi newspaper, the 33-year-old teacher at a prefectural high school in Shizuoka, not far from Tokyo, befriended a female student in 2007 and told her about his fiscal woes.
After she suggested a loan from her amply stuffed piggy bank - the Japanese, including their children, are the greatest savers in the world - he told the prefecture's disciplinary hearing: "I was short of money, so I took advantage of her kind offer."
When the girl was questioned by her parents about the sudden withdrawals from her bank, she confessed. The parents demanded that the teacher pay back the cash immediately, which he did.
The unnamed teacher has since been slapped with a 10 per cent wage cut, but is at least still within arm's reach of any number of budding young lenders.