By Ms. Kimhong Phan

After two and a half years of being in Japan, I noticed a big difference in Japanese work ethics. Japanese people are not only notorious for having long working hours, but also for the hard work that they put into these long hours every day. Employees rarely take vacation leave as they feel guilty about it. Working long hours and harder than anyone else is a source of pride in Japan. According to a survey from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, nearly one-quarter of Japanese firms had their employees log in over 80-100 hours of overtime in a single month. Those extra hours are often unpaid. This is one of the reasons why Japan developed fast as well. Hard work and dedication are part of their culture. However, too long hours and unbalanced work resulted in some deaths in Japanese society. Due to this reason, the government of Japan has instituted various reforms encouraging employees to cut overtime.

All in all, we should use our time efficiently and effectively with a balanced life to be productive in each single day. We should work hard for the benefits of everyone in the country.