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Business trends

From Japan to Indonesia, Asia weighs four-day workweeks

Long hours and low productivity plague the region, but change is still slow

Commuters in Tokyo: Japan is known for its long working hours, but some companies are looking to implement shorter workweeks. (Photo by Makoto Okada)

TOKYO -- Companies and governments across Asia are cautiously testing the idea of a four-day workweek as notoriously long working hours take a toll on workers, with little to show in terms of productivity.

Japan, long known for its punishing work culture, is at the forefront of the nascent trend, with some of its biggest corporate names announcing plans for truncated weeks.

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