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Premium Friday campaign kicks off

Sample newspaper article

ひと月に一度、社員に早い退社を促す政府支援の取り組み「プレミアムフライデー」が2月24日に始まった。この取り組みは毎月最終金曜日午後3時終業を促すもので、消費低迷を立て直し、長時間労働を抑制する ことを目的としている。旅行会社は金曜日の午後早く退社する人のために2泊のパッケージツアーを売り出す一方、百貨店やレストランはお客様のために割引や特別メニューを用意している。しかしながら、この 取り組みをビジネスチャンスと捕らえている会社は皮肉にも、この日に 売り上げを増加させようとすると、自社の社員は長時間労働をしなければならないというジレンマに直面する。 (Feb. 25)

Words and phrases

ひと月に一度 (-tsuki-ichido) once a month; 社員 (shain) workers; 早い退社を促す (haya-taisha-unaga-) encouraging to leave the office early; 政府支援の (seifu shien-) government-backed; 取り組み (to-ku-) campaign, initiative; 始まった (haji-) kicked off; 毎月 (maitsuki) each month; 最終金曜日 (saishū Kinyōbi) last Friday; 終業を促す (shūgyō-unaga) promote an end to the workday; 消費低迷 (shōhi teimei) tepid consumption; 立て直し (ta-nao-) shoring up; 長時間労働 (chōjikan rōdō) long working hours; 抑制する (yokusei-) restricting; 目的として (mokuteki-) aimed at; 旅行会社 (ryokō gaisha) travel agencies; 2泊 (nihaku) two-night-stay; 売り出す (u-da-) launching; 百貨店 (hyakkaten) department stores; お客様 (-kyakusama) customers; 割引 (waribiki) discounts; 特別 (tokubetsu) special; 用意して (yōi-) gearing up; 捕らえて (to-) viewing; 皮肉にも (hiniku-) ironically; 売り上げ (u-a-) sales; 増加させ (zōka-) boost; 自社の社員 (jisha-shain) own employees; 直面する (chokumen-) faced

Sample radio or television report

Hitotsuki-ni ichido, shain-ni hayai-taisha-o unagasu seifu shien-no torikumi “Puremiamu Furaidē”-ga 2-gatsu nijūyokka-ni hajimarimashita. Kono torikumi-wa maitsuki saishū Kinyōbi gogo sanji shūgyō-o unagasu-mono-de, shōhi teimei-o tatenaoshi, chōjikan rōdō-o yokusei-suru-koto-o mokuteki-to shite-imasu. Ryokō gaisha-wa, Kinyōbi-no gogo hayaku taisha-suru-hito-no-tame-ni nihaku-no pakkēji tsuā-o uridasu ippō, hyakkaten-ya resutoran-wa o-kyaku-sama-no tame-ni waribiki-ya tokubetsu menyū-o yōi-shite-imasu. Shikashi-nagara, kono torikumi-o bijinesu chansu-to toraete-iru kaisha-wa hiniku-ni-mo, kono-hi-ni uriage-o zōka-saseyō-to suru-to, jisha-no shain-wa chōjikan rōdō-o shinakereba naranai-to-iu jirenma-ni chokumen-shimasu.

Translation

The government-backed Premium Friday campaign encouraging workers to leave the office early once a month kicked off on Feb. 24. The initiative, which promotes a 3 p.m. end to the workday on the last Friday of each month, is aimed at shoring up tepid consumption and restricting long working hours. Travel agencies are launching two-night tour packages for those who leave the office early on Friday afternoon, while department stores and restaurants are gearing up to offer discounts and special menus to customers. But companies that are viewing the campaign as a good business opportunity are ironically faced with a dilemma: If they try to boost sales on the day, their own employees might have to put in longer hours.

Conversation between acquaintances

A: Hitotsuki-ni ichido, shain-ni hayai-taisha-o unagasu Puremiamu Furaidē-ga hajimatta sō-desu-ne.

(I see that the Premium Friday campaign — the one encouraging workers to leave the office early once a month — has kicked off.)

B: Kono torikumi-wa shōhi teimei-o tatenaoshi, chōjikan rōdō-o yokusei-suru-koto-o mokuteki-to shiteiru sō-desu-yo.

(Apparently the initiative is aimed at boosting the low level of consumption and cutting long working hours.)

Conversation between husband and wife

H: Kondo-no Puremiamu Furaidē-ni-wa nihaku-no pakkēji tuā-ni sanka-shitai-ne.

(I’d love to take a two-night package tour when the next Premium Friday comes around.)

W: Watashi-wa resutoran-de tokubetsu menyū-o tabetai-wa.

(I’d rather enjoy a special meal at a restaurant.)

(No. 1348)