Word Pairs


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Japan's government has backed an initiative to [easy / ease] the pressure on Japanese workers and simultaneously [boast / boost] consumer spending. The new [measure / measurement] is called "Premium Friday". A spokesperson from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said the campaign would [encouraging / encourage] workers to leave work earlier on the [last / past] Friday of each month to [relax / relaxation] and/or go shopping. Around 130 companies across Japan have [singed / signed] up to participate in the initiative, including many major employers. Skeptics are [surely / unsure] whether the scheme will succeed or not because of the infamous workaholic [nature / natural] of Japanese workers. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters: "It will take time for Premium Friday to take [root / branch] ."

The idea for Premium Friday was [partly / party] prompted by the suicide of an employee who was [continually / continued] required to work excessive overtime at the ad agency Dentsu. A court [ruled / ruling] the suicide was "death by overwork" and stressed the need to [address / envelope] what is a common problem in Japan - overworking. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is leading [at / by] example. He promoted the campaign [by / to] leaving the office early for a meditation [season / session] at a Tokyo temple at 3:30 p.m. Mr Suga said it was [essential / essentially] for both the government and the private sector to create an atmosphere where workers feel comfortable in leaving [left / early] . However, many workers said they would just have to work on Saturdays [rather / instead] to finish their work.

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