TOKYO >> The Japanese government said it plans to request that companies extend their New Year holidays to possibly a week long, as a means to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Adding time to the holiday season would help mitigate congestion on public transportation and at shrines, where the masses traditionally visit during the new year to pray for a prosperous year ahead.
Since the days between the year’s end and the New Year holiday is a time for family reunions in Japan, large numbers of passengers descend on train stations and airports to travel home. Lengthening the holiday season would ease the daily congestion.
Japanese companies generally reopen for business three days after the new year, but the government seeks to extend the holiday through Jan. 11, which is Coming of Age Day, a national holiday to celebrate the passage into adulthood.