Need a break? Japanese workers do
Online travel experts Expedia have revealed that Japanese are taking fewer days off for vacation than any other nation via a survey of 9,000 adults in 13 countries.
Not only are Japanese workers given the least days off -- an average of 16.5 -- but they tend to only use half of them. Meanwhile their counterparts in France are given an average 37.5 days off a year and use 34.5 of them.
To rub salt in the wounds, one of the causes for such lack of vacation is put down to Japan's fear of visiting nations that are less safe than their own, and one of those countries -- France -- has particular resonance.
The trouble with Paris
In 2006 Paris Syndrome struck down polite Japanese tourists with romantic visions of Paris who suffered psychiatric breakdowns when faced with the reality that Parisians can be rude and the whole city doesn't quite match up to scenes from the film "Amelie".
Japanese laws state that "Employers must grant employees at least one day off per week, or four days off in any four-week period" and "Sundays or public holidays need not necessarily be days off".
With Japanese so keen to impress their employers in a culture of subordination, companies make sure their staff are very rarely away from their desks for more than two days at a time.
A tough language means short holidays
Mutsuyo Okamura from Japan Intercultural Consulting puts the long working hours culture down to problems with the Japanese language itself, which takes more time to input into computers, creating a bureacratic system in most offices that technology has failed to alleviate.
Perhaps surprisingly, Expedia's results revealed that the nation with the second stingiest employers was the United States, offering just 17 days off a year of with an average of 14 taken.
So when you next see Japanese tourists rushing around taking pictures, you'll know it's because they need to squeeze as much as they can into their meager vacation time.