Japanese holidays

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Japanese lawmakers are angling for more long weekends.

This year saw the change of two holidays (Coming of Age Day in January and Health-Sports Day in October) from fixed dates to floating Mondays to create long weekends. This is great for overworked salarymen and a boost for the economy as many people turn these three-day weekends into travel excursions.

In 2002, a new bill in the Diet proposes, two more holidays will change to Mondays to create long weekends in July (Marine Day is currently on July 20) and September (Respect for the Aged Day is now September 15).

In total, Japan chalks up 16 national holidays, two more than the US. America has 14 federal holidays but some of them, like Flag Day and Inauguration Day, are still work days for most people. There are only ten "day off" national holidays in the US.

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