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Premium Friday is launched to cut working hours and have a nice weekend

Friday on the last week of every month is the Premium Friday

Premium Friday
Premium Friday
The Premium Friday campaign, launched by the government and business lobby Keidanren, calls on workers to leave the office at around 3 p.m. on the last Friday of each month.
Aimed at boosting consumption and curbing long working hours, businesses are hoping to cash in on the move, offering a variety of new services and products.
Above explanation was cited from Japan Times.
Today is the kick-off day of Premium Friday. Every worker at every industry is recommended to finish his/her job at 3pm and enjoy the weekend.
3,930 companies declared to participate premium Friday.

For example, ANA offers discount price for flight ticket to promote premium Friday weekend trip. However, people tend to feel a bit awkward to go for a trip at weekend. Instead, food service industry is doing their best to get more customers at night of the premium Friday.

Ikebukuro Parco department store started discount campaign at their restaurants on premium Friday.

池袋パルコのニュースやイベントなど、最新情報をご紹介しています。
Ikebukuro Parco Premium Friday campaign
Even one of the most prestigious hotels in Tokyo, Westin Tokyo also started discount campaign of its accommodation charge.
If you try to search Google with keyword combination "プレミアムフライデー レストラン", you will know really a lot of restaurants and hotels are doing their best to get more customers at premium Friday.
世界中のあらゆる情報を検索するためのツールを提供しています。さまざまな検索機能を活用して、お探しの情報を見つけてください。
Google search result "プレミアムフライデー レストラン"

However, restaurant owners don't expect much from Premium Friday

Premium Friday at Imperial Hotel
Premium Friday at Imperial Hotel
However, It seems that restaurant owners don't expect a lot from Premium Friday. That is because if people finish their job at 3pm, they likely to go straight home rather than going to restaurants.
Usually, Nomikai party (飲み会) party starts 6pm earliest. Therefore they don't know how to spend 3hours from 3pm to 6pm.
If people go straight home, nobody will make profit out of Premium Friday.

On the other hand, people may enjoy the premium Friday at restaurants at discounted price.
Nobody knows how it will turn out.

Let's see what happens today (2/24)

However...3,930 companies are merely 0.1% of number of entire companies in Japan....

It seems that, premium Friday has nothing to do with most of the workers in Japan.
According to a Twitter post, one company urged its workers to use their official day off as premium Friday.
If they use official holiday for premium Friday, it is missing the whole points.
@nino010101
今日はプレミアムフライデーなので仕事詰まってない人は有給使って3時に帰ろうみたいな地獄のメールがきた
Today is the first day for premium Friday.
Let's see how it works. Hopefully many companies will adopt premium Friday soon to take a nice rest on the weekend.

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