I reckon it is difficult to DIRECTLY compare duty months in AJX to a US carrier.
If one lives in the US, it can be reasonably assumed that one will commute to and from Japan once a month. So, every month, the body clock will be reset from local US time to Japan time (sort of) and back to US time.
I say "sort of" because the schedules in Japan jump from day to night flying, so one's normal rhythms are disturbed continuously.
With the days off being rostered in one block every month, the company tries to get the full month's productivity out of the pilots in the remaining time. Expect to fly 6 on 1 off for the 18 days in a month AND during that time expect to flip flop from day trips to multi sector night flights, duty days ranging from around 8 hours up to 14 hours. Total hours flown may be less than in the US but fatigue and lifestyle very much affected by this.
If one has a family at home or enjoys hobbies at home, this commuting lifestyle can be very demanding.
A common complaint/comment I hear from pilots who commute from Europe or the USA is that they are continuously tired from the constant disruption of their sleep cycles. Even guys who live in Australia are battling with this due to the existing scheduling practices.
ONCE AGAIN, let me repeat, CAPTAINS in their late 40's and early 50's are LEAVING AJX to join the majors as new hire junior FO's. They say that the first year or 2 will be at lower pay BUT they will be earning more in around 3 years and the expected earnings and LIFESTYLE for the rest of their careers are expected to be much better than what AJX can offer.
NOW, if AJX started a system of reverse rostering crews out of bases in the US, Europe and Australia, with 6 day trips, providing a work schedule similar to a normal long haul operation + giving the option for those who like/want to do the present commute style schedule, WELL, that would make this on of the better jobs in my opinion.
Oh yes, this would also save the company a fortune on their commuting costs and the stability of the workforce would also save them a fortune on training costs. These savings could then be used to increase salaries. NOW we are talking about a job which will attract so many applicants, the company would be spoiled for choice.