Japan’s “Cool Biz” campaign goes ‘Super’ this summer

News photo
Working holiday: Officials in aloha shirts work at the Environment Ministry on Wednesday, the first day of the government’s Super Cool Biz energy-saving campaign. The government is now urging office workers to wear light clothing starting in June, one month earlier than last year. KYODO
Reposted from The Japan Times
Thursday, June 2, 2011

The government launched a “Super Cool Biz” campaign Wednesday at the Environment Ministry, a more casual version of the annual Cool Biz campaign, encouraging staff to dress more casually and help reduce the use of air conditioning amid anticipated electricity shortages.

Under the new campaign, ministry workers can wear polo shirts, T-shirts, jeans and sneakers in the workplace starting in June, rather than the original no tie, no jacket Cool Biz dress code.

The new campaign comes as the government is calling on the private and public sectors to cut electricity consumption amid concerns about power shortages due to the nuclear emergency at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

But it is still uncertain whether the more casual summer attire will take root among businessmen, who traditionally dress in gray suits.

The prefectural government of disaster-hit Iwate, for example, has decided not to go as far as allowing jeans in the office to avoid making visitors feel “uncomfortable.”

Cool Biz was originally proposed in 2005 by then Environment Minister Yuriko Koike as a way of helping fight global warming.

The government started the campaign on May 1 this year, one month earlier than usual, to keep the temperature in offices at 28 degrees. However, by dressing more casually and introducing the Super Cool Biz campaign, it hopes to attain the target while combating the summer heat with higher air conditioner settings.

The Environment Ministry does not allow athletic wear, shorts, or flip flops under the new dress code.

The ministry does not have a specific dress code for women.

Tengu Says:

I can’t wait to see what the ladies will wear on “Casual Friday”!


About Tokyo Tengu

I'm a 58-year-old lovable fuzzball that enjoys spending time (when not working) reading and writing political commentary, enjoying good books, cooking, eating and bashing stupidity whenever and wherever I find it. (Not that I have to look very hard these days.) Despite being a long-term (25 years) resident of Tokyo, I am an unashamed and unabashedly Pro-Life American Conservative with an intense interest in the politics of the day -- in Japan, the United States and throughout Asia. My writings here and in other places focus primarily on how things are seen from Japan and around Asia, with special emphasis on Japanese national, political and defense issues, US Forces in Japan and Asia, and the burgeoning military power of China.
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