Longer Holidays Proposed to Prevent Coronavirus Spread

Politics Economy Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 24 (Jiji Press)--Japanese economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura proposed to business leaders Friday that weekdays in the upcoming Golden Week be made rest days for a longer holiday period to reduce the number of people commuting to work amid the coronavirus crisis.

Nishimura and three other ministers of the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a videoconference with Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, and other business as well as labor leaders to seek their cooperation to help reduce travel during the Golden Week holiday period as a way to prevent the spread of the virus.

Nishimura proposed that the five successive holidays from May 2 to 6, during the Golden Week, be extended to a nine-day holiday period through May 10 by making May 7, a Thursday, and May 8, a Friday, days of rest for workers.

The government is seeking to reduce interpersonal interactions by 80 pct in the fight against the virus. Transport minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said that one possible new approach would be to let people work from home during the holidays and set a separate period for rest in order to reduce outings in the Golden Week.

"Whether it is better to have employees work from home or take leave depends on the situation," Nakanishi told reporters after the conference, suggesting that specific measures will be left up to each company. He also affirmed his commitment to help achieve the goal of reducing interactions by 80 pct.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press