Photo by Joe Crawford
The government and many companies are trying to convince Japanese businessmen to radically change their dress code this summer. After the Fukushima disaster, energy has become an expensive resource, and one way to save it is by reducing the power used by air conditioners.
Office workers in Japan have been encouraged for the last five years to get rid of ties and jackets while working in the summer, in order to help the country reduce the greenhouse gases. Now, however, the government announced an even more ambitious plan that would reduce pressure on the national power grid after several power stations were closed, following the March 11 natural disaster.
By way of example, bureaucrats will wear polo shirts, simple T-shirts, jeans, trainers and even sandals. Sportswear, shorts and beach shoes will not be allowed, the Japanese media says, quoting governmental sources.
The policy, which will be known as Super Cool Biz, is set to allow most offices to function well between June and September with air conditioners set at 28 degrees Celsius. The ultimate goal of the policy, which also includes changing light-bulbs with more economic ones and coating windows with film to reduce heat, is to reduce electricity consumption by 15 percent.
One big obstacle that has to be surpassed for the new policy to reach its goals is the strict hierarchy in many Japanese offices. For most office workers it is impossible even to think to innovate on something that has not been previously adopted by the boss. At the time of the official announcement about the new policy, made this month by the prime minister and his Cabinet, everybody except two was wearing jackets and ties. [The Australian]