A box sent to us from a friend which had to be sent by airmail parcel post which cost a whopping $69. The value of the contents was likely lower than the cost of the shipping. I imagine our fate once we leave Japan will be to be relegated to such exorbitant fees or to not send anything to friends abroad.
Japan still embraces both sea mail and small packet and it has made it much more reasonable to sell things by eBay to countries outside of the U.S. and to send things to friends or family. I will miss the option of these reasonable rates at the post office.