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Gov't kicks off Warm Biz energy-saving campaign

29 Comments

The Japanese government on Friday kicked off its annual Warm Biz energy-saving campaign by encouraging people to dress warmly.

However, temperatures remained unseasonably high for most of the nation, with much of Japan yet to experience cold temperatures. In Tokyo on Friday, the temperature was 23 degrees at 2 p.m.

Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, not wearing a tie, kicked off the campaign at a news conference. 

Each year, as part of the campaign, the Environment Ministry calls on offices and homes to set heaters and air conditioners no higher than 20 degrees C and keep warm the "old-fashioned way” by wearing extra layers of clothes and eating hot meals to keep out the cold. In the colder months of January and February, the ministry suggests using scarves, gloves, stomach warmers, and leg warmers or two pairs of socks during the day.

For dinner, it recommends a traditional Japanese hotpot. "You can lower the heat if you enjoy nabe, making both your body and the room warm. The temperature will feel higher than it actually is thanks to steam from the pot," the ministry says.

Eating root vegetables and ginger will help to "warm the body up," it says, adding that getting off the train a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way to work will boost circulation.

Warm Biz was first introduced in 2005 as a follow-up to the Cool Biz campaign during the summer. But it didn't really get much attention until 2011 when the government began promoting it heavily due to fears over a potential electricity shortfall following the March 11 disaster.

The Warm Biz campaign runs through next March 31.

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29 Comments
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For dinner, it recommends a traditional Japanese hotpot. "You can lower the heat if you enjoy nabe, making both your body and the room warm. The temperature will feel higher than it actually is thanks to steam from the pot," the ministry says.

If it works, And you tell yourself it works then it works.

Me I prefer proper insulation and at a pinch bringing the animals inside while snuggling on under a table on the floor boiling a hot pot. Thank goodness I rethatched the roof I'm 100% warm buz.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I'm so glad the Japanese government tells me what to do in summer and again in winter. I never would have thought to conservative to save energy costs by myself. I can't imagine how people would ever survive without being told what to do. I have another one to add. If you only flush the toilet once a day you will save a lot of water.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

as if need that joker to tell me what to do.

start to find a real job .

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Yeah... because proper insulation, central heating, and insulated glazing is not the way to go... smh

People will always choose comfort, and in the meantime, the electricity consumption reaches all time highs each winters, and the planet suffers from that... But sure, let's all wear sweaters at home...

12 ( +12 / -0 )

After returning from a trip to the States I am reminded how low my quality of life is here.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

....the Environment Ministry calls on offices and homes to set heaters and air conditioners no higher than 20 degrees C and keep warm the "old-fashioned way”

Gotcha. I'll daub myself in goose fat too. How about the 'new-fashioned way' of investing in modern miracles such as insulation and decent windows?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

@Reckless - After returning from a trip to the States I am reminded how low my quality of life is here.

I took my Japanese Mrs to Australia in August for her first time. She said exactly the same thing on her return to Japan. As a result, we are moving to Australia permanently in December. There is way too much pressure in Japan from always being told what to do. You go into a toilet and you'll find signs telling you how to wipe your butt! It's just too much pressure!

The design of Japanese houses does not support any kind of insulation for either warmth or to keep them cool. I live a reasonably modern 2 story, 3brm house, but it's very poorly designed. There are many small rooms and a central stair case. It has a studio style peak in the ceiling. However, there are no vents in the ceiling. This makes the top floor and oven in summer. In winter you heat one room at a time and have to run from room to room. And, unless you have a heater for each room, you have to take the heater with you. There is the problem with Japan's excessive energy consumption. No amount of ginger and nabe is going to fix that!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

If you only flush the toilet once a day you will save a lot of water.

Very true, mate. However, it is a bit hard to do. In Australia, we have dual flush toilet which allows you to flush using half or full tank of water. Funny thing is the design was developed by Japanese sanitary product manufacturer TOTO in 1960.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I’m wearing a t-shirt at home watching the rugby-no change for me...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So In Summer ramp up the air con to 28, and winter lower it to 20? We do the opposite and that's with New J insulation and double glazing. Turn it off and might as well move to another room. Or outside.

A bowl of boiling water while wrapped in blankets sitting on the floor just doesn't seem 2019. The ministry should look at forming a panel to discuss the atrocious building regulations.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Steam causes condensation and damp, you have to have an outlet for cooking steam and fumes, those fans over the hob are ineffectual. What Japan needs is double glazing, properly built homes with insulation and better designed homes that don't have cold/hot spots.

All this should be standard, most Japanese homes are more like elaborate sheds.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The quality of life in Japan is going down the slippery slope.

From work-life balance to the quality of housing.

It is truly horrific.

I wonder when the locals will 'stand up and be counted and say enough is enough?'

It seems that the plebs have been so indoctrinated that there is no coming back.

I sometimes,not often,see a young woman taking her two kids to a nursery school and think.....why do you bother?You are working so often and you are away from kids for so long just so you can pay for the 'elites' in government to wipe the floor with you.They don't care about you and they are only interested in your your kids paying for their kids education and privilege.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Each year, as part of the campaign, the Environment Ministry calls on offices and homes to set heaters and air conditioners no higher than 20 degrees C and keep warm the "old-fashioned way” by wearing extra layers of clothes and eating hot meals to keep out the cold. In the colder months of January and February, the ministry suggests using scarves, gloves, stomach warmers, and leg warmers or two pairs of socks during the day.

If you have seen the Koizumi's house in Yokosuka, you will think otherwise.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Spitfire - The quality of life in Japan is going down the slippery slope.

From work-life balance to the quality of housing.

It is truly horrific

And, don’t forget being taxed to the pint of bankruptcy and having to pay into that pension scam with only a 20% rebate. And, the government announced this week they will start making part-time workers pay this scam as well

Then, add that 60% of the workforce are on semi-permanent or part-time contracts with no job security and are constantly being evaluated under threat of being fired.

it seems quite fitting the government is plugging this kind of energy conservation coz nobody has any money to pay for their utilities.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

...and if you buy a 6-liter plastic jug of industrial shochu for ¥899 down at the local SupaaCentaa, you can keep the heat set even lower.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wonder when the locals will 'stand up and be counted and say enough is enough?''

Of course never, all they can muster after getting home at 10pm is to down a can of beer , watch a bit of mindless variety idiot show on TV or play a game and mumble something about shouganai and gaman.

The politicians ( read LDP) have truly created an ideal system for themselves. Fait accompli

8 ( +8 / -0 )

fashion advice from old crusty japanese politicians...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This a joke or something...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Shouldn't it be sexy biz?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Am I the only one who finds the trains and office buildings (as well as department store buildings, etc.) burning hot during the winter? I wear short sleeves under my jacket almost year round.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@zichi

Talking from experience?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 set heaters and air conditioners no higher than 20 degrees C

That's no problem. I have a problem with Cool Biz in the summer setting the aircon at freakin' 28 degrees.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The stupid thing is what happens when these 'biz' periods kick in is that the aircon gets controlled by some faceless entity that you can't communicate with to change anything. So, for example, the classrooms at the uni I work at are either too hot in winter or too cold in summer because the temperature is fixed to the 'correct' one. However, the stupid thing is it would actually save the institution money by letting the people in the classrooms set it warmer in summer or cooler in winter if they want to....

But no, rules are rules

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not one second or one yen should be spent on any of this.

It's not even remotely cold yet anyways.

The morning I freeze my hand off, I'll put on some gloves.

Thanks for the tips, guy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why do the Japanese need their government to tell them how to dress and at what temperatures to heat/cool places?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Eating root vegetables and ginger will help to "warm the body up,"

There is zero scientific evidence to back up this claim. Consuming hot or cold items does not raise core body temperature beyond about one degree for about one minute. Japanese people are simply too intellectually lazy to question their government or do research.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And yet my employer insists on keeping things at 26-27° all winter, in contrast to the 28° of summer.

We could wear short sleeves all year long and still be too hot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Currently remodeling my house, you can’t even FIND good R10 or higher insulation unless you use eBay which ironically is almost priced the same after shipping as the R2.2 soundproofing insulation you can buy at the local home center. The 20 year old insulation we tore out was 85% useless. Now I know another reason they put a cover around a new house being built. I will be installing a wood burning stove as my part to warm biz.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was told that the house builders and Japan petro companies were in a kind of collusion or agreement when it comes to the lack of insulation in the houses. Less insulation means faster heat loss which means go buy more toyu.

Some of the older homes, built in the 70s actually have holes in the wall; well there really isnt a wall, the wood paneling of the house serves as a wall. I lived in such a house, many are still around. I just got used to it until one wall in the shower actually collapsed due to termite infestation. Rats were also a huge problem.

Really wasnt much difference in living outside and in that house except for the gas and running water.

for the cold here, I suggest spending allot of time in it, like work outdoors, then you develop a kind of tolerance to it.

Many Japanese are sedentary creatures and run at the slightest cold or rain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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