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Japan is gearing up for a much less busy and less festive end of year period.

According to a survey of more than 10,000 companies conducted in mid-November, 87% are not planning to hold their usual bōnenkai (year-end parties), or even their shinnenkai (New Year’s parties). Companies in the Hokkaido, Kanto and Kansai regions are even less likely to go ahead with these normally boisterous occasions.

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