The government-backed "Premium Friday" campaign kicked off on Friday with around 130 participating firms across the country encouraging employees to leave work early on the last Friday of each month.

The government launched the initiative to boost weak consumer spending as it struggles to halt Japan's persistent deflation. The campaign urges people to leave worker earlier by either taking paid hours off or using a flextime program.

Whether the campaign will succeed remains to be seen, given Japan's notorious workaholic nature. Many economists are skeptical.