We previously reported to you that giving workers the day off to “create a patriot” in Ulyanovsk, Russia resulted in a 300 percent increase in births 9 months later. Now, a private employer, Canon, is giving employees at its Japanese headquarters time off to get to know their spouses--with the same result in mind.
CNN reports that employees at Canon's headquarters in Japan are being let out early 2 days per week in order to encourage them to have more babies. Worried economists in the Asian country fear that constant 12-hours days are lowering the birth rate and the number of future citizens. In fact, the country's Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare fears that the birthrate is too low to support the current population and product demands.
Thus, Canon has seized this opportunity to close promptly at 5:30 p.m. twice weekly, ostensibly to let employees get home before they are too tired to create a consumer. Of course, the company also is saving on the overtime and utility costs usually racked up by workaholic employees in this downturned economy.
And while the canoodling Canon couples don't have the opportunity to win SUVs and TVs for producing progeny like their Russian counterparts and are even taking home less pay for less hours worked, not all feel negative. "It's great that we can go home early and not feel ashamed," said employee Miwa Iwasaki.