The Wrong Set of Priorities: Work Life Taking Precedence over Family
October 19, 2010 Leave a comment
If the name Hidehiko Yuzaki doesn’t ring a bell, it will soon enough. The 45 year old governor of Hiroshima prefecture is set to become the fifth (yes, fifth.) male government official in Hiroshima prefecture and the first Japanese governor to ever take paternal leave.
Such reflects on the Japanese work mentality as a whole, as they tend to put in more hours and take fewer holidays than their Western counterparts.
As mentioned in a previous blog post (found here), I cited long hours and a demanding work life as contributing to Japan’s low birth rate. I don’t support taking too many holidays. In fact, I’m all for a strong work ethic and long work hours if need be. But like doing the same type of math problem over and over again despite an understanding of a given math concept, working longer hours does not necessarily help the overall productivity of a company or organization. There are extremes to both sides, and one must find a balance between both for society to run effectively.
One can only hope that Yuzaki sets a precedent amongst Japanese dads.