Japan's ageing population has been a matter of grave concern to its government for some time now. So the nation's largest banking group, Mitsubishi UFJ (MUJF), is asking its employees to hit home early and have some "family time", hoping this would reverse the low birth rate.
The MUJF is among the handful of companies participating in the national campaign to increase Japan's population.
AdvertisementAccording to a female worker employed at the bank's Tokyo trading floor, the management felt that letting everyone off at 5.10pm rather than the usual 7pm would give time to couples to romance and reverse the population rates.
"The company is constantly telling us to do things, but I think this is the first time the corporate agenda has made its way to the bedroom," the Times quoted her as saying.
She added: "I'm not sure how many more babies will be conceived this week, but the bar next door to the headquarters should do well."
Japan's fertility rate - the average number of children born to each woman in the ages of 15 to 49 - of 1.3percent (2007 figures) is among the lowest in the world and almost a quarter of the country's population is aged over 65.