Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced a statement (Japanese information only) about promotion of a long vacation in March, 2002.
Preceding 3 years by this governmental policy, Mr. Yasuyuki Takimoto, chairman and CEO of Air Link Co. Ltd., called former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi to carry out the policy like this.
Both of policies are intended to get the Japanese to take Western style vacation, but reality is hard.
It is unrealistic hope for quite a number of Japanese employees to take
a long vacation.
But as of 1989, when Japan was radiant country, there was possibility of being raised employees' standard of living and luxury.
In that year, Japan's government have come to close on Saturdays twice a month since January (but adopt five-day week now), and financial institutions have gone on a five-day week since February.
Hence, there were great hopes that these fact brought many of Japan's companies full-scaled five-day working week system before long.
And yet Hiroshi Eguchi, author of "Kokusai-ka tte honto? (Is really Japanese internationalized?)" published Kyodo in July, 1991, raised a question "Would the Japanese really enjoy a vacation?"
In fact, his prediction hit the mark.
I think that its reason isn't only a depression called lost decade.
I mean whether standard employees who have worked in Japan's standard companies can take a long vacation.
|The standard of Japan's good companies for employees
(informed by Nikkei Business in 1989)
(standard's and bad companies' are estimated by me)
|item||good companies||standard companies||bad companies|
|1||specialized knowledge||It can be available.||Only company specific is generally available.||No worth working for these companies.|
|2||disclosure of evaluation of performance||Individual performance is almost always knowable.||An evaluation isn't always disclosed.||Up-or-out depends upon bosses' mood.|
(The violation of the Japan's Labor Standard Law, see also here)
|There is receivable fair reward against overtime work.||There is usually unpaid overtime.||Without doing unpaid overtime, not only do employees get harassed, but get fired.|
|4||respect for initiative||Employees' wishes and initiative are respected.||These companies' motto is "Perseverance brings success."||These companies' motto is "Don't make waves."|
|5||no business days (holidays)||Holidays are always for private time.||Holidays are sometimes killed by business entertainment or on company business.||Many of employees often work on a day-off.|
|6||social activities||It is positively recommended to join.||Such activities occasionally please for these companies.||An association with outside person is shown dislike by these companies.|
|7||contract of employment||All workers are contracted to employ in deference to their personality.||Many of employees are only a cog in the machine except specific person like nomenklatura.||Employees seem to be expendable.|
|8||communication||There is frequent two-way communication.||Communication sometimes tend to pass the word down.||Communication means to be an apple-polisher.|
|9||business goal||It's clear-cut.||A sense on the same label with in the same trade (yoko-narabi ishiki) is dominant.||A moneygrubber|
|10||relationship with boss||It's only job partner.||Own off time is often taken away by a boss.||It's like a billy boy and arse bandit.|
What do you think after reading the above table?
Today, which companies have increased, good ones or bad ones more than in 1989?
I say again, "the standard of Japan's good companies for employees" is indicated by Japan's employees in those days.
Here's standard employees who have worked in Japan's standard companies.
Can they enjoy a long vacation?
Besides those who have a family tend to be burdened with heavy educational and housing expenses.
In particular, it is said that most of Japan's householders keep paying a housing loan for terms of life.
Consequently I feel it is far from time that many of Japanese can enjoy a long vacation.
Fainally, I suggest to read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" written by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter.
I guess that you may change your whole attitude on life.
[Back to the index page of my essay]