Japan Biz Groups Asked to Deconcentrate New Year Holidays

Economy Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 30 (Jiji Press)--Japanese economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura on Friday sought cooperation from three business groups in the country for the proposed deconcentrating of holidays during the year-end and New Year period, in a move to prevent crowds and infections.

Nishimura, who is in charge of the government's coronavirus responses, called on member companies of the business groups to allow their employees to take leave flexibly during the coming holiday period, which has been proposed to be extended through Jan. 11, the Coming of Age Day national holiday.

The minister's call comes as many workers in the country are expected to take leave for only several days through Jan. 3 and return to work on Jan. 4, which falls on Monday, as in past years.

There are concerns that severe congestions may be generated and infection risks may increase if workers go on trips or visit their parents in their hometowns during the short holiday period.

"People will spend more if the holiday period starts earlier and ends later, while ryokan (Japanese-style inns) and hotels will benefit from deconcentrated demand," Nishimura said in a teleconference with the three business groups--the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, or Keizai Doyukai.

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