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Japan may be the country with the fewest vacation days in the world. According to a recent poll by the labor ministry, in fiscal 2013 Japanese workers used less than half of their annual leave, taking only nine of the average 18.5 paid vacation days that they are entitled to. Around 16 percent of workers took no holidays at all.

As a result, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently announced it is considering making the use of vacation days compulsory, or at least partially compulsory, by submitting a bill to the Diet. The bill would oblige employers to have workers who are entitled to a minimum of 10 paid vacation days annually to take at least five of them. Workers should take all of them, but five days would at least be a start.

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