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Gov't considering to create a new public holiday

By Philip Kendall

Last June, we brought you news of whisperings in Tochigi Prefecture about the proposed creation of a new public holiday, which was to be known as Yama no Hi, or Mountain Day. Since then we have heard little more on the subject, but the good news is that, although the plans may have changed a little, the Diet is now considering a bill to make the national holiday a reality, meaning everyone may soon get an extra day off every August 11.

It’s true that Japan’s workforce spends frighteningly long hours at work – which is often unpaid – and taking more than a few days’ personal holiday at any one time can be difficult to impossible, but the people of Japan are mercifully blessed with a considerable number of public holidays each year.

There are currently 15 official public holidays per year in Japan, plus a number of days that companies traditionally close, such as over the New Year period and during Obon, wherein families get together both to eat and drink and observe the traditional Buddhist beliefs that the souls of their deceased relatives briefly return to earth during that time.

This year’s holidays currently stand thus (some observed later than listed):

January 1: New Year’s Day January 13: Coming-of-Age Day February 11: Foundation Day March 21: Vernal Equinox Day April 29: Showa Day May 3: Constitution Memorial Day May 4: Greenery Day May 5: Children’s Day July 21: Marine Day September 15: Respect-for-the-Aged Day September 23: Autumnal Equinox Day October 13: Health and Sports Day November 3: Culture Day November 23: Labor Thanksgiving Day December 23: Emperor’s Birthday

But while the sea, trees, old folks and even kiddies are officially observed each year, there is a distinct lack of respect for mountains on the calendar, which is actually rather odd considering that roughly 73% of Japan is covered by them, and when asked to list things they consider synonymous with Japan most people mention Mount Fuji.

During council meetings held in Tokyo last week, however, it was agreed that a bill would be officially put forward to make August 11 a public holiday, with the aim of encouraging the people of Japan to make the most of the warm weather and, during their Obon observations, step into the countryside to enjoy a mountain hike or two.

If the bill is passed, it should come into effect from Jan 1, 2016.

Source: Livedoor News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Landlocked Tochigi Prefecture seeking create new national holiday: Mountain Day -- The times of year that make single Japanese women feel the loneliest -- Can You Spot the Hidden Mickeys in this Traditional Japanese Helmet?

© RocketNews24

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I’d take a day off for Mountain Dew!  Oh, Mountain Day.  Well August needs a holiday, and I need an official day to drink Mountain Dew.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What I would like to see are substitute holidays whenever a public holiday falls on a Saturday. Absolutely wasted and pointless.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How about Nuclear Radiation Education Day..........

1 ( +2 / -1 )

taking more than a few days’ personal holiday at any one time can be difficult to impossible

This is the problem, not solved by making more days where everyone is off and it's impossible to move on the roads, impossible to get a seat on a train or plane, impossible to book a hotel and if you do it's two or three times the normal rate.

There is no need for more public holidays. Just allow people to take the personal holidays their contracts say they are entitled to, without excessive sucking of teeth by the boss and 'everyone else had to pick up the slack while you were off' repercussions from colleagues.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I agree the above comment. More national holidays aren't needed. More flexibility is.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"taking more than a few days personal holiday at any one time can be difficult to impossible,"

Why? Other countries can do it. Why can't Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Attach it to the May 3, 4, 5, days to make a true Golden Week.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

more bread and circuses....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A large number of full and part time workers do not get any public holidays off. Another day off for the lucky ones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Make one a" Sacking Shinzo Abe " Day. A day where every Japanese should celebrate for sacking a trouble maker who has brought more problems to the country than no other since 1945.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing wrong with another holiday!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Excellent, more holidays to sleep :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This year Aug 11 falls on a Monday, they should meke this new holiday effective from this year!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think a holiday in mid-August would be gilding the lily, because it's common for businesses to give staff an extended holiday that week anyway. Move it to July.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"it's common for businesses to give staff an extended holiday that week anyway."

Not in the company.I work for. I want Aug 11 off!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Absolutely a good idea!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm all for holidays! I loathe working, but that maybe because I'm not working in my field yet. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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