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Policy Proposals  Industrial Policy Request for Cooperation in Promoting Flexible Working Styles on "Premium Friday"

In the following statement on December 13, Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman of Keidanren, called on member companies and organizations to cooperate in promoting flexible working styles when "Premium Friday" is implemented.

As you are well aware, the highest priority for the Japanese economy is to chart a firm course toward a GDP of 600 trillion yen by ending deflation and the steady achievement of economic revitalization. Consumer spending, in particular, is the pillar of domestic demand. Therefore, in order to improve consumer sentiment, the public and private sectors need to take comprehensive measures toward robust consumer spending by working together with utmost effort to address fundamental problems such as relief of anxiety over the future as well as staying innovative in taking on the challenge of creating new demand.

Given this understanding of the issues, it has been decided that "Premium Friday" will be implemented jointly by the public and private sectors as a part of "10 strategic public-private joint projects," which is included in the Japan Revitalization Strategy 2016. Premium Friday is a public-private initiative to create and entrench the practice of people spending a more enriching time than usual on the last Friday of each month. Preparations are currently underway for holding related events and selling limited-time products, etc., centering on the retail and travel industries, ahead of the first Premium Friday, which will take place on February 24, 2017.

Keidanren fully supports the main objective of Premium Friday, which is to propose new lifestyles, and is promoting it. Specifically, because fiscal 2016 has been designated as the year for focused efforts to reform working styles and establish work-life balance, we would like members to use Premium Friday as an opportunity to review working styles and cooperate in promoting flexible work formats when Premium Friday is implemented.

It would be very much appreciated if member representatives would consider promoting, for example, use of a full-day, half-day, or hourly-based paid leave or utilization of flextime programs, etc. on Premium Fridays, or devise other creative means in the afternoon of the last Friday of the month to enable all employees to finish their work earlier than usual, by 3:00 p.m. at the latest, if possible.

Reference: Premium Friday Overview

  • Initiative aims
    To create and entrench the new practice of spending a more enriching time than usual on the last Friday of each month, whether shopping, eating out, travel, or volunteering, etc. (time perceived by people as "premium" or as "something special"), in order to promote reviews of working formats and lifestyles. The initiative is also expected to help stimulate consumer sentiment as a result.

  • Initiative details
    During the Premium Friday implementation period, participating stores and areas will use a designated logo and run campaigns tailored specifically to the initiative. They will demonstrate their creativity while providing products and services that people perceive as enriching or satisfying or that make them feel happy (holding events, selling limited-time products or menu items, etc.)

  • Implementation period
    The last Friday of the month. The first Premium Friday will be February 24, 2017. Participating stores and areas may freely determine the specific implementation period (for example, the last Friday only or the weekend including the last Friday) and frequency (for example, every month or every other month).

  • Applicable regions and sectors
    The initiative will be implemented across sectors in each region of Japan (and promoted through the lead of motivated stores and areas).

Industrial Policy