Desperation is an incredible motivator.
For more than a generation, Japanese workers have been pulling far more than their own weight in order to help pull their country out of a persistent recession.
The Japanese celebrate 16 holidays. They don’t have religious holidays like Easter and Christmas. Holidays in the Land of the Rising Sun focus on nature and seasons, as well as the normal national founding day and holidays in honor of popular former leaders.
The government has a problem with its overworked labor force. Even though the Japanese tend to have between 10-20 paid vacation days that they are allowed to use, most use less than a week of that. That is why the government continues to add holidays because people will use holidays when they won’t take their paid time off.
We are coming back to offices across America after taking a day off to celebrate the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces.
Some people attended a ceremony honoring those individuals. But most took the chance to do some work around the house or maybe spend some time at a lake or other recreational activity.
That would be ideal for the Japanese when Mountain Day goes into effect on August 11, 2016. They need their workforce to have a better work-life balance.
I know that is true in America in many professions as well.
Many workers have gone years without a raise and given up vacation days to stay on the good side of management out of fear of being the next one whose job is eliminated.
Fortunately for both American and Japanese workers, both economies are showing signs of recovery even though the improvement is slow.
If conditions improve and workers begin to feel more comfortable in their jobs, maybe they will be able to take more time off and improve their work-life balance so governments won’t have to take extreme measures like adding a holiday to achieve that goal.
Until then, make plans now for August 11, 2016 so you can start a new Mountain Day tradition.

Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: