The government’s annual Cool Biz energy-saving campaign for late spring and summer kicked off across Japan on Friday.
Cool Biz, which will last until Sept 30, is being held for the 16th straight year. It encourages workers to dress down, ditching their suits and ties for open-necked, short-sleeved shirts in their offices. It also suggests office air conditioners be set at 28 degrees Celsius.
Most government offices were sparsely staffed as many employees are teleworking due to the coronavirus. Some employees who were in the Environment Ministry office wore Okinawa's kariyushi summer shirts, Kyodo News reported.
Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi urged people working at home to also take part in the Cool Biz campaign and not set the air conditioning lower than 28 degrees.
The temperature in Tokyo reached 25.2 degrees at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
Cool Biz was started in 2005 by then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions and electricity use. It started on June 1 each year until 2011 when it was brought forward by a month in a bid to conserve electricity after worries that there would be a power shortage following the March 11 disaster.© Japan Today