Canon to workers: Go home and make babies

Japan's long workdays contribute to low birth rate
||Last Updated: 03/05/2009

Twice a week at electronics giant Canon's headquarters in Tokyo, employees are sent home early, by Japanese standards, with one imperative: Go home and make babies.

In Japan 12-hour workdays are the norm, which doesn't leave much time for family, and are contributing to the country's low birth rate.

The birth rate of 1.34 is well below the 2.0 needed to maintain Japan's population, according to the ministry of health, labour and welfare. The population is also aging faster than any other in the world.