It was not business as usual for some workers in Japan on Friday. As the clock reached 3 p.m., about 100 office workers raised champagne glasses in a cafe in the middle of Tokyo’s central business district to toast “Premium Friday,” a new initiative to promote better work-life balance. Company and government offices were asked to let employees leave at 3 p.m. in what is supposed to become a regular practice on the last Friday of each month.

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