5-speed listening (Working Hours - Level 4)

Japan attempts to ease working hours






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Japan is trying to ease the pressure on workers and boost consumer spending. It started a campaign called "Premium Friday". Workers are being encouraged to leave work earlier on the last Friday of the month to relax or go shopping. About 130 companies are participating. Doubters are unsure if the campaign will work. Japan's workers are famous for being workaholics. The government said: "It will take time for Premium Friday to take root."

Premium Friday followed the suicide of a man who was made to do too much overtime. A court said it was "death by overwork". It said overworking was a big problem. Japan's Prime Minister promoted the campaign by leaving the office at 3:30pm for a meditation session. The government said both the government and the private sector needed to make workers feel comfortable in leaving early. Many workers said they would just have to work on Saturdays.

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