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Business trends

A 4-day workweek? Japan gives the idea serious thought

Increased productivity crucial in push for work-life balance

Giving families more time to spend with children is one goal of the move toward shorter work weeks.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- More Japanese lawmakers and businesses are throwing their support behind shorter workweeks to give families more time to take care of children and older family members, as well as to adapt to a world where remote work is increasingly common.

The government's Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy will cover the issue in a discussion Tuesday of measures to encourage the movement of workers into higher-growth fields. Shorter weeks will give employees more time to attend school to gain new knowledge and skills, the thinking goes.

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