Japan's government has backed an initiative to ease the pressure Japanese workers and simultaneously boost consumer spending. The new measure is called "Premium Friday". A spokesperson the Ministry Economy, Trade and Industry said the campaign would encourage workers to leave work earlier the last Friday each month to relax and/or go shopping. Around 130 companies Japan have signed to participate the initiative, including many major employers. Skeptics are unsure whether the scheme will succeed or not because the infamous workaholic nature Japanese workers. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters: "It will take time Premium Friday to take root."
The idea Premium Friday was partly prompted the suicide an employee who was continually required to work excessive overtime the ad agency Dentsu. A court ruled the suicide was "death overwork" and stressed the need to address what is a common problem Japan - overworking. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is leading example. He promoted the campaign leaving the office early a meditation session a Tokyo temple at 3:30 p.m. Mr Suga said it was essential both the government and the private sector to create an atmosphere where workers feel comfortable in leaving early. However, many workers said they would just have to work Saturdays instead to finish their work.