In a week in which leading US politician Nancy Pelosi opined that preventing births was good for the economy, CNN reported that Japanese business leaders see more births as part of the solution to the recession. Keidanren, Japan’s largest business group, with 1300 major international corporations as members, has issued a plea to its members to help break the overwork syndrome that bedevils the country and let workers go home early to spend time with their families.
It is common for Japanese to have a 12-hour workday, but at Canon’s headquarters in Tokyo it’s now lights out at 5.30 pm on two days a week, as the electronics giant takes the problem of lack of family life among Japanese workers to heart. Of course, it also means cutting down on the cost of overtime as the global recession bites.
At 1.34, Japan’s birthrate is one of the lowest in the world and its population is the oldest. The government itself has said that long working hours are the top cause of the country’s serious demographic problems. ~ CNN.com, Jan 26