Japan Data

Japan’s Year-End Parties Put on Hold Again in 2021 Amid Pandemic

Economy Health

Although Japan’s state of emergency was lifted as of the end of September, and many restaurants have returned to normal operations, end-of-year parties will not go ahead like in a typical year.

The dominant sentiment in Japan these days seems to be that even though COVID-19 infections are on a downward trend, end-of-year parties should be canceled in 2021, as they were the previous year.

A survey of 575 people from their twenties to sixties conducted by Tokyo-based Laibo found that only 12.9% of the respondents said that an end-of-year party would be held at their workplace, up slightly from the 7.7% in 2020, but only a fifth of the 65.5% in 2019, just prior to the pandemic.

When asked their opinion on holding an end-of-year party, 31.3% were either favorable or somewhat favorable to doing so, while a far higher percentage, at 49.2%, were either opposed or somewhat opposed.

The most common reason cited for opposing a year-end party, at 55.2%, was the fear of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Although the virus is under control for the moment, a strong sense of caution prevails. Another reason for opposition cited by 45.2% of those surveyed was that it is bothersome to socialize at a party, reflecting how some are rethinking social customs as a result of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, many of the supporters of holding a party underscored the importance of face-to-face meetings and pointed to how a party can revitalize communication.

Laibo has interpreted the results of the survey as indicating changes in lifestyles and values as a result of the pandemic, and predicts that it is unlikely that pre-pandemic lifestyles will be resumed by the end of 2021.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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