Knock off at 3pm? Sure, why not?

Japanese workers have been told to leave work at 3pm on Friday to enjoy the weekend and take advantage of special discounts offered for late Friday flights and train journeys.

Launched on February 24, ‘Premium Friday’ is a bid to fight deflationary pressures through encouraging consumer spending.

Employees are allowed to leave the office early on the last Friday of each month, in a surprise move for a country known for its long working hours. The campaign is also supported by the business community.

Japan recently revised its assessment of consumer spending downwards, the first downgrade in almost a year.

Across Japan, economic prospects and wage growth have dimmed. Households have been hit with higher food prices resulting in cutbacks on non-essential purchases such as household goods and furniture.