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Cool Biz campaign begins across Japan

31 Comments

The government’s annual Cool Biz energy-saving campaign for late spring and summer has kicked off across Japan.

Cool Biz, which will last until Sept 30, 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.

At the environment ministry offices in Tokyo's Kasumigaseki, some employees wore T-shirts and Okinawa's kariyushi summer shirts.

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.

This year's campaign is part of deco-katsu, a national effort to reduce CO2 emissions to prevent global warming.

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Shinichi Tanabe, a professor of structural engineering at Waseda University's graduate school of engineering, observed that the temperature of 28 degrees came about through a sanitary law for buildings that was passed in 1970.

"It's believed that the original environmental sanitary standards were meant to cover a temperature range from 17 to 28 degrees," Tanabe explains. "In other words, 28 degrees is the maximum figure stipulated by the law, and not the recommended temperature setting by any means."

From a previous JT article.

Perhaps a "Warm Biz" campaign would be more effective. Promote double glazing and proper insulation in housing. Maybe suggest that in late April when the temperature is over 20 degrees you don't need the heating turned on in shops and trains.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

The Japanese government simply loves meaningless "campaigns" and companies and people always follow them without question.

Before some academic applies for and receives a massive government grant to carry out a scientific study on how much the world's temperature has been reduced by this campaign since it was introduced in 2005, I can save them the trouble. The answer: it hasn't.

The only thing this campaign has achieved is a reduction in the potential sale of neckties in Japan.

And limiting air-conditioners to a temperature of 28oC in the middle of summer here is just madness.

12 ( +23 / -11 )

Last year, my private high decided to let students wear uniforms based on their own body temperatures. There is still an appropriate way to wear the uniform, but if they want to wear the summer outfit in winter time, it's their choice. After this, some of us teachers also began to whisper about Cool Biz and how if that dress attire is acceptable, then why isn't it acceptable year round. Some of us teachers have warmer body temperatures. Well, I'm pleased to announce that from this year, the school decided to allow teachers to wear outfits according to their preferences. There is still an appropriate way, like if you wear a long sleeved shirt, you must wear a tie. But if I choose to wear a polo shirt all year long now, it's okay. Japan can change. It's nice.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

All this yet still plenty of suits and ties around in July's almost 40 degree heat.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

As with every other year here,in midsummer, I’ll still see the profusely sweating salaryman wearing the suit and tie (running?) expressing form over function…

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

I was cold when I took the morning garbage out.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

News at 11! "Adults need to be told what to wear by their government!".

1 ( +26 / -25 )

Its only a good thing that there is some accommodation for the hot summer heat, but why is it necessary to dictate a start and end date? Surely just following common sense is enough?

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Bring back Premium Friday!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The good old days of sitting face to face with your buds 11 hours a day.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I agree with the cool biz gig, but the air conditioners set at 28 Celsius is just absurd. In the very least, it should be set at 25 Celsius. If the government really wants to save up on electricity, they should order businesses to close early (implement a compressed 4-day workweek) or close on time, in addition to requiring those neon lights and LED walls to switch off earlier. I live in Southeast Asia and the heat wave right now here is punishing. If there was one high-powered appliance that needs to remain working despite the energy situation, it's air conditioning.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Where I work, it's 28 in the summer but also 25-26 in the winter. No such thing as "Warm Biz"; it's overheated all year 'round. Ridiculously one-sided.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

It is no tie for most offices all year round even in the gouvernement offices. Ties are put for meetings when necessary. Workers wearing ties all day have been a minority for many years

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Amazing way to welcomed Cool Biz with a winter cold weather yesterday...lol

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Think of it: 28C ( 82-83F). Working at a desk. No opening of windows possible for ventilation.

And don’t think Cool Biz means “casual”, like American TGIF ( loose jersey, shorts maybe). No, it means a crisp short sleeve shirt with a dress-up look. And don’t forget to wear an undershirt, you know, in case you sweat - which inevitably you will.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The funniest aspect to this nonsense is that Japan is such a long archipelago.

Equivalent to stretching from Norway to Chad in Africa.

Wear what you want,when you want,as long as it doesn't have soy sauce or sweat stains on it.

Otsukare.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I think the reality is companies have to be told this, especially traditional companies.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Insane. Just because you wear a short sleeve shirt doesn’t mean 28 feels cool. lol. The loss of productivity must be amazing. Proper insulation isn’t available in Japan? For a modern day country that prides itself on tech savvy, total failure with that temp and not using proper systems. I think if I visited a place like that I’d just turn around and go out.
-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Plenty of scientific data around to state that 28c is not the optimal air-con setting, especially when you add notoriously high humidity levels to the equation.

Research shows differing results but around 25c seems to be a good balance between comfort and energy consumption.

The govt arrived at the 28c figure because it was concerned / panicky about electricity supply in the aftermath of Fukushima and the shutting down of nuclear power stations nationwide.

It's not based on science.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It also suggests office air conditioners be set at 28 degrees Celsius.

https://laminaheat.com/en/impact-of-heat-and-cold-on-employee-performance/#:~:text=It%20is%20generally%20recommended%20to,environment%20conducive%20to%20optimal%20productivity.

*Temperature can have a significant impact on productivity. Research suggests that excessively hot or cold temperatures can make it difficult to concentrate and perform tasks effectively. It is generally recommended to maintain office temperatures within a range of 68 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 24 Celsius), as this provides a comfortable environment conducive to optimal productivity.*

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What the government needs to do is STOP the selling of these so called ECO boilers that keep hot water ready and on demand by heating it when no one needs it.

This is the largest waste of energy I have ever seen so far, and yet they sell it under the title ECO BOILER, How could it be ECO when it's using electricity to keep water hot when NO ONE IS HOME OR USING IT?

Explain This please?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Agree, 28c is where I set my air conditioners and it keep my places cool home and work, NO PROBLEMS.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Cool biz is nice, but setting 28 is somewhat counterproductive. People invariably end up setting little table fans on their desks and end result is drawing extra current from the grid.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

didou

It is no tie for most offices all year round even in the gouvernement offices. Ties are put for meetings when necessary. Workers wearing ties all day have been a minority for many years

Yes there is no more dress code in many companies. For example in large banks employees can dress as they want when there are in the office. It is only when they visit customers that they have to wear a suit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Absolutely pathetic that there needs to be a government campaign replacing common sense.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

If you have to make a campaign and try to talk about the positive points of your employees being comfortable in their work clothes… and having to mail out notices to citizens to not worry if they see a government employee not wearing a suit jacket in 40 degree weather… there’s something real off going on

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Setting the A/C to 28 degrees C in Japan's humid, hot summer is just useless. They might as well just turn the A/C off and open all the windows. At least there'll be fresh air circulating inside.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

kohakuebisuToday  10:00 am JST

I think the reality is companies have to be told this, especially traditional companies

Just a guideline from the government that most companies implement all year. In most companies, workers having a tie decide personally. Some like that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Negative Nancy...

Surely just following common sense is enough?

The big problem with "common sense" is that it is not common at all. Especially in the Japanese workspace.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

It also suggests office air conditioners be set at 28 degrees Celsius.

One problem is that this sometimes happens even when the outside temperature is below 28.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Welcome to the 20th, uh 21st century.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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