Golden Week stretches nine days for some

Most major Japanese companies will have nine days off during the Golden Week spring holiday period, although some electronic machinery makers, such as semiconductor makers, will have no holidays because they are trying to keep up with demand.

The way the national holidays fall on the calendar this year makes it easier for companies to give employees nine consecutive days off.

Since the national holidays fall on April 29, May 3, May 4 and May 5, workers can enjoy nine days off if permitted to take off May 1 and May 2.

Workers at the main offices of Toshiba Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and NEC Corp. will get all nine days off.

Employees at IBM Japan Ltd. are also being encouraged to take nine days off, with May 1 and May 2 designated as “recommended vacation days.” At Fujitsu, however, employees will be required to work May 1 and May 2. They will have a total of seven days off if the two weekends are counted. Meanwhile, Sharp Corp., will have its factories in Mie Prefecture operating 24 hours a day throughout the Golden Week period as it churns out liquid crystal displays, which are in strong demand. for personal computers and mobile phones.

Hitachi’s liquid crystal display factory in Chiba Prefecture will operate for five days during the Golden Week period, while Hitachi’s and NEC’s semiconductor factories will have no holidays.

In the automobile industry, the main factory at Hino Motors Ltd. will have a 10-day holiday starting April 28. Factories at Toyota Motor Corp. will be closed for nine straight days from April 29.

At Nippon Steel Corp., May 1 will be a holiday, but May 2 will be a working day, and the workers will therefore get a total of eight days off.

Industry sources said many companies are choosing to have certain departments and factories vary their holidays within the Golden Week period instead of having the entire staff take off all at the same time.