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Abe meditates as Japan punches time clock early for 'Premium Friday'


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Abe could so easily pass a "firms must give employees full paid holidays or face financial penalty" law but no, this feeble band aid attempt lacks any real kick.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

“It’s hard for Japanese workers to take a day off so we need to create conditions in which everyone can take a holiday”

Even the longest journey starts with a single step. Well done Japan!!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

“It’s hard for Japanese workers to take a day off so we need to create conditions in which everyone can take a holiday.”

And let's call it, errr, "golden/silver week?"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My wife works at a big company which has refused to participate in premium friday. Recently she's been forced to work such long hours that today she couldn't get out of bed and called in sick for the first time in months. It's been about 17+ hours and she's still sleeping. I suspect most workers who really need a premium Friday will also skip the shopping and just go to bed. If you need to invent something like premium friday, it means your society is already broken.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

So, it's 16:30 and only two people have left early: one who had long ago planned the afternoon off and left at 13:00 and the head of operations who is the one who proudly announced that our company would participate in "Premium Friday" (as long as everyone makes up the missing 3 hours somewhere else. That person was out at a client site, came back at 15: 20, to walk through the office and announce he was leaving for Premium Friday - didn't stop to take his coat off or check his desk.

I am curious how things are going elsewhere. Are people out there spending? Or are people ignoring this as a distraction, intended to make the government look like they're taking action.

11 ( +11 / -0 )


Plenty of people I've worked with spend time 'meditating' at their desks. This is otherwise known as doing sod all.

Less 'meditating' and getting the job done might enable people to go home at a reasonable hour.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

So annoying that several national holidays fall on Saturday this year. Please sort that out too Abe.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Best thing I've read all week. Premium malt sales through the roof.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Y'all go spend your money on some Premium Malts now. Comments on this thread tomorrow. Thanks.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The happosho has got it alas only nihonchu

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Before I go shopping:

Many Japanese employees don’t even take all of their regular annual leave and firms are not helping with the needed wage hikes.

I believe there will be no rise in the price of labour without the conditions for the price of labour to rise being in place. The central planners need to look at the root causes of this issue, rather than just complain that Japan's stale old companies are not doing what isn't mandated upon them by free market forces.

Before wages rises can be expected, Japan needs, at minimum, 1) major legal reform to enable labour market flexibility (not half-hearted piecemeal reform), and 2) the dismantling of the culture of lifetime employment. These are bottom lines, and alone may not be enough - other measures to boost the ease and profitability of doing business are probably also necessary to boost the overall demand for workers.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Anyone on JT getting Premium Friday? Unfortunately our company isn't doing it yet..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I was preparing to write a serious response to parts of the article, but hell it's Friday right! I'll be gone in 15 minutes and the beer is in the Fridge, the steaks marinating in the frig', the coals being fired up by my son, so everything will be ready to go by the time I get home!

Have a great weekend folks!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Asked my husband (works for the government) if they'd be participating in Premium Friday this morning. He laughed.

Actually he's working late tonight and now has to go in Tomorrow because of Koike's press conference. Premium indeed.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

(as long as everyone makes up the missing 3 hours somewhere else.

See, I knew this was going to be the case. OF course people have to make up for lost hours.

Anyone on JT getting Premium Friday? Unfortunately our company isn't doing it yet..

Nope, same here.

But no worries, probably on the news tonight we will see a lot of happy drinking people on TV cheering this event.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Is Dentsu allowing servants to leave early today?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

its funny how all the eikaiwa teachers still have to work!! not me!! good luck peeps with foreign owners to take this up! Legit LUVIN this Premium Friday!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

work at Japanese company. no premium friday. not even mentioned within the office.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

No job means it's Premium Friday every week. Every day in fact.

Not a lot spare for Premium Malts though... : (

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I am curious how things are going elsewhere. Are people out there spending?

With what money?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@ gaijin player,

Luckily since I am in IT premium Friday is a fact for me. However some of my best mates are hard working teachers and really nice fellas and gals. Why hack on people that do an honest day of work? But, then again, you da man, you da playa! LOL

3 ( +4 / -1 )

i thought abe would be shopping his head off, aint that what happy-fridays are for? meditation? that wont help the economy at all. so lame

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Welcome to Premium Friday, Japan’s latest bid to tackle two perennial problems—sluggish consumer spending and notoriously long working hours blamed for a national health crisis known as “karoshi,” or death from overwork."

Yeah, sorry... it's Japanese latest bit to AVOID tackling the problem. Giving companies the choice of letting employees go a few hours early one day a MONTH isn't going to make up for the extra hour every morning of each month they tack on instead.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I've honestly been misreading the headline as "Abe mediates...."

I was picturing the poor bloke stuck in a meeting while everyone else was out partying...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Only 120 small and mid-size companies joined and gave their workforce off at 3pm today. The big companies don't even bother with this. That's like 0.01℅ #onlyinjapan

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Many Japanese employees don’t even take all of their regular annual leave...

... umm, most Japanese employees can't get approval to take all of their annual leave.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

...and nobody noticed

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I noticed what a great success this no-doubt-well-funded ephemeron was tonight, when I has to stand up on the train all the way home on the train at 8pm.

The topic wasn't even mentioned at my place of work until I raised it and was met with polite giggles from the women who pretend they need to work 14 hours every day and still come to the office on Sundays to send emails which demonstrate they were in on Sunday, and thus are hard workers.

I will say one thing for Abe - he's consistent.


4 ( +4 / -0 )

Unless the law is changed and penalties enacted there won't be any change.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And what if most people simply go home early and not shop? I don't think part-timers will be going home because doing so would mean financial loss. Another hare-brained scheme by a wealthy elite.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A brief applause for meditating when possible: it is not wasting time. If one gains clarity, that makes the next week (or period without meditation time) far more of what you want it to be (efficient or wise or what ever your goal is). Popular English news features only the "stress-reducing effect" (that alone would be no waste of time!), but actually Zen meditation involves many other aspects. One temple pamphlet advised "just sitting with a penitent heart"; another source points to the insight one may gain. Even movies show that meditation, not just sitting but walking and even doing tea ceremony and so forth, can bring courage and aplomb. Certainly today's leaders need calm hearts and minds to face the sadness of current events--the general decline in moral restraint of short-tempered feelings, the irresponsible leadership in major countries affecting Japan residents, the spurning of truth, etc. Alas, I am a female version of a "mikka-bouzu" [=monk who lasts only 3 days], but I wish everyone luck in trying to do better!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No idea is it really working as most of them still in office :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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