With December less than two weeks away, Japanese companies are beginning to make preparations for their annual bounenkai (end-of-year) and shinnenkai (New Year) parties. Even if they’re the kind of people who sometimes duck out on after-work drinks with the boss, most Japanese employees are painfully aware that skipping the biggest corporate celebrations of the year is tantamount to career suicide.
Because large-scale events usually require more space than your average drinking party, many Japanese companies have recently been moving away from typical sit-down enkai banquets and are holding more Western-style events where staff are encouraged to move around freely and interact over a few drinks.
But according to a recent survey, these Western-style work socials are overwhelmingly unpopular in Japan. Here are the top seven reasons why.