Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he hopes that new government-business initiative, called "Premium Friday," will boost economic consumption.
Abe met Wednesday with the government’s Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy to discuss the introduction of “Premium Friday,” which allows employees to finish working at 3 p.m. on the last Friday at the end of each month. It is set to begin on Feb 24.
"Premium Friday" is a collaboration between the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry and 15 business groups. Abe said he hopes the initiative will encourage workers to enjoy activities such as shopping, dining and traveling, and thus give the economy a boost.
At the council meeting, some members pointed out that the government should also take children’s lifestyle into consideration.
There still remains some doubt over whether employees will actually go home at 3 p.m. When "Premium Friday" was first announced last year, government officials and businesses said there are many unknown factors.
Some issues yet to be resolved are how to encourage employees to leave their offices so early, how to avoid retailers from getting involved in price wars by offering excessive discounts and what services can be set up to cater to employees who want to enjoy themselves once they finish work at 3 p.m.© Japan Today