Only 49.3 percent of full-time paid leave in Japan was taken in 2011, far from the government-set target of 70 percent by 2020, a survey by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry showed Thursday.
Although the rate of taken paid leave, basically vacation days, climbed 1.2 percentage points from the previous year and has increased for the second consecutive year, the ministry said it wants to urge companies to ensure that their workers take more paid leave in order to raise the rate.
The rate of taken paid leave accounts for how much assigned paid leave an employee actually uses.
According to the ministry, the average number of days for paid leave in 2011 was 18.3, up from 17.9 in the previous year, but the actual number of days used as paid leave was only 9.0, up from 8.6.
The rate of taken paid leave was 73.6 percent in the electricity, gas, heating supply and water supply industries, and 54.2 percent in the manufacturing sector.
However, the rate was at around one-third in the wholesale and retail industries, at 35.8 percent, and in the hotel and restaurant industries, at 37.4 percent.
The survey targeted 6,128 companies with 30 or more employees, of which 71.1 percent gave valid responses. Reasons for why more than half of paid leave was not taken were not provided.