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Is overtime work in Tokyo going to get worse thanks to the Olympics’ new last train schedules?

9 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

In Japan, the last train of the night is the ultimate party pooper. If you’re out enjoying the nightlife in Tokyo, the last train on any line is around 12:30 a.m., and if you need to make a transfer to get back to your hotel or apartment, you’ll probably need to shut your party down even sooner, often before the stroke of midnight.

Recently we got the additional buzzkill that the Yamanote loop, Tokyo’s most important and convenience rail line, is going to be shutting down even sooner during an extended construction period. This week, though, came some happy news on the opposite end of the spectrum, as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee has announced that during the Games trains in the city are going to be running much later than usual.

The last trains for the Yamanote Line (which is operated by JR East) and a number of subway lines that crisscross downtown Tokyo won’t leave until sometime after two o’clock in the morning during the games, which are scheduled to run from July 24 to August 9, 2020. A number of lines which run from downtown Tokyo out into the suburbs, including ones run by rail operators Tokyo, Seibu, Odakyu, Keiei, and Keikyu, are also looking into extending their last trains by 30 to 90 minutes during the period.

The intended purpose of the revised schedules is to give spectators extra time to make their way home from competition venues, but it should also be a boon to travelers and locals who want to keep drinking, dancing, or otherwise carousing a little longer without having to stay out all night or shell out for an expensive taxi ride.

But while that makes it sound like a win-win situation, there’s a chance that a later last train could actually be a win-win-lose scenario. So what’s that potential third, losing demographic? Overworked office employees.

Overtime in Japan is no joke. In many companies it’s not a question of if employees will have to put in overtime, but how much. For the staff of the busiest offices, the last train is actually their savior, since “I have to stop working now, because the last train I can take to go home is leaving” is one of the few reasons that’s virtually always accepted for capping a day’s overtime in Japan.

So while sports fans and party people will be happy to have an extra hour or two of fun, for salarymen and businesswomen the new schedule might just end up extending their already hellishly long work days. Hopefully their bosses recognize the later last trains as what they’re supposed to be, though: a way to promote Olympic spirit, not pad companies’ bottom lines.

Sources: Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee, Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- These are the 11 most crowded trains in Japan…and surprise! They’re all in the Tokyo area

-- Downtown Tokyo set to open its most important train station in 50 years, and now it has a name

-- River of salarymen appears on totally normal, completely crazy day in Tokyo station【Video】

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

9 Comments
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No comment. I pity the average worker. Don’t moan in shock or surprise the day brain drain stats come rolling around. It’s not Japanese culture, its a bully’s culture.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese only start thinking to change something when it’s unavoidable and the whole world is watching.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

probably because workers generally let their employers push them around. Grow some balls and it won't happen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why, Japan never heard of 1st, 2nd and 3rd shift?? Why is this even a topic in a so called civilised country?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What?

Just sleep at the office-what’s the point of going home?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Doesn't this beg the question "Can conditions get worse for Japanese workers?"...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Two weeks vacations and Air&B out your homes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they let it, yes. If they abide by and enforce the laws, there is no reason it should. But, TIJ, so I'd say the former.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably around the time of the Olympics, employees will be allowed to go home at a civilized time. However, once all the foreigners return to their home countries, there's no longer any need to keep up the pretense. Then it will be back to normal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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