The recent expansion of remote work in Japan following the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the government with ammunition to push for an even more radical working style previously thought all but incompatible with Japan Inc: the so-called "workation."

Workation — a portmanteau of “work” and “vacation” — abruptly made headlines Monday when Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga mentioned the term during a government tourism strategy meeting as a way to reinvigorate the virus-hit sector.

The word, alternately spelled “workcation,” is a largely alien concept in Japan that has emerged only in the last couple of years, attracting the attention of a smattering of companies and municipalities, such as Japan Airlines Co. and Wakayama Prefecture.