Photo: ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY WEBSITE
national

Gov't kicks off Warm Biz energy-saving campaign

36 Comments

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

However, much of Japan is yet to experience cold temperatures. In Tokyo on Monday, the forecast high was 22 degrees. Staff at the environment ministry could be seen wearing sweaters and some women had blankets on their laps.

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.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

36 Comments
Login to comment

I am still wearing short sleeve shirts and sweating. Surprisingly in this heat some Japanese are already inparkas with hats, scarves and gloves.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

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.

Good to see the government giving some healthy tips of how to keep the imune system up, unlike most other governments that barely mention this important point.

Along with these, it would be good to see the government keeping the heaters off during peak hours at stations and trains, as this makes people sick, sweating in jammed trains and then going out to - soon - very low temperatures.

Lastly, please keep the train windows open all winter, to avoid unnecessary influenza and covid outbreaks.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

".... it recommends a traditional Japanese hotpot."

The actual energy savings achieved by the efforts of the Environment Ministry are less than the amount of energy used to heat and air-condition their offices.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

So we pay our taxes to get our grandmas reccomendations like this one

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

How ingenious are these J-politicians at the helm,besides such rustican remedies it would be nicer from them to spend more of these taxpayers to the environment and climate change.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

How about bringing in laws that force builders to insulate every home and workplace they build.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

How about bringing in laws that force builders to insulate every home and workplace they build.

our rental is very well insulated and not expensive to cool in the summer or heat in the winter. Average power bill is about ¥7,000 per month.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Winter time is for nabe which I make several times a week. Keeps for lunch the next day too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

our rental is very well insulated and not expensive to cool in the summer or heat in the winter. 

You got lucky, I’d say.

Nice to see you back, Zichi.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

An American friend visiting a Japanese house in winter found a portable kerosene heater. He looked at it curiously. He did not know Japanese people move the heater from one room to the other to save oil and money. Central heating is the norm in America.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The modern kerosene with the electric blow fan are every effective, even fitted with a timer. But the price of oil has increased year-on-year so except for the coldest month we use the new electric ceramic heaters. Central heating in Japan is provided by the AC which we also use.

Most people don't move the kerosene from room to room they just have several of them. But the most popular, which we don't use is still the kotatsu.

P.Smith thank you. I spend two years finding a new house. The current one fits all the boxes beyond expectations.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The problem with the kerosene heaters is you have to vent the pollutants released with the heat.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The modern kerosene with the electric blow fan are every effective, even fitted with a timer. But the price of oil has increased year-on-year so except for the coldest month we use the new electric ceramic heaters.

No comparison. First of all, the ceramic heater radiates heat so unless you are in its "beam" it still chuffing cold and secondly, those kerosene heaters will get you anything from 3000 to 5000+ Watts of power heating your room versus the 1200 Watts of a ceramic heater, though they do stink a bit when you fire them up or switch them off. Which is fine because the aroma is like jet fuel so I can fantasise about flying somewhere hot.

Incidentally, those electric radiant heaters are a fire hazard because they heat objects rather than the air. Great for outside, but you just know how the missus likes to drag it right up to her futon...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Uniqlo's HEATTECH underwear works well at least for me staying outside in a cold day. HEATTECH is my favorite brand, but there must be some equivalents you can get for an inexpensive price.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

First of all, the ceramic heater radiates heat so unless you are in its "beam" it still chuffing cold

Depends on the heaters. Some ceramic heaters have fans.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The problem with the kerosene heaters is you have to vent the pollutants released with the heat.

You should keep a door slightly open. The modern kerosene heaters have no wick and work with a combustion chamber producing less pollutants. The electrodes needs replacing every few years. A service costs about ¥5,000. The part I have always hated about kerosene heaters is going outside to fill the tank.

We have a couple of 1000 watt ceramic heaters with fans. One will warm up the bedroom in less than one hour. I find them effective until the weather gets cold. We now live in a place where it never snows. But coldest month February needs the kerosene or ac.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The part I have always hated about kerosene heaters is going outside to fill the tank.

The part I hated most was actually filling the tank. Spilled kerosene ain’t fun to clean up.

I refuse to use kerosene heaters unless I’m back in the States and in a garage or shop working on something.

Surely Japan can create and install heating systems that don’t require leaving a window cracked or refilling a tank given the toilet seats have so much technology.

The government could also require all houses and building to be insulated to the standards many buildings and homes in Hokkaido are.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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.

Ah, life in the exotic Orient. Would the Ministry like me to slap on some goose fat too? Hasn't the wizadry of UPVC windows made it over here yet? My windows look as though they were made by a plumber.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The part I hated most was actually filling the tank. Spilled kerosene ain’t fun to clean up.

There are battery operated pumps which stop when the tank level is reached. There are many landlords especially in apartments who ban kerosene heaters.

AC are the central heaters.

With all heaters we also use water drops which create cold steams around the room. Stops the atmosphere from getting too dry.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

With all heaters we also use water drops which create cold steams around the room. Stops the atmosphere from getting too dry.

Another advantage of kerosene heaters, at least in dry climes. As we know, water is a by product of combustion and your heater doubles up as a 加湿器.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My new favourite source for cheap winter clothing is the overalls store, Workman. They do a half-zip grid fleece top that is like Patagonia or TNF but 1/10 of the price. It has thumb loops, so the sleeves are designed extra long, thereby avoiding the main problem with Japanese clothes for me. Grid fleece is a great material, warm but with variable thickness (in a grid) that makes it breathable.

Uniqlo's heat tech is designed as underwear to be hidden and the sleeves are 9/10ths of Japanese length, which is short to begin with. Workman's thermals are a tiny bit longer, but still too short for me. I like the packable thin down jacket Uniqlo make though, the Ultra Light Down. It's versatile and good value for 5000 yen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I pray to sweet, gentle kamisama that they turn off the heaters on the trains, at least during peak hours. It’s an effing sauna every year.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The part I hated most was actually filling the tank. Spilled kerosene ain’t fun to clean up.

Our gas fan heater hooks straight up to the main. No tank, smells (even though I kinda like it) or spilled kerosene. That and the newly built house being well insulated means we crank the heat for about 30 minutes or so, then turn it off and it stays warm for the rest of the evening. Dead winter requires a couple of booster shots, though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Our gas fan heater hooks straight up to the main. No tank, smells (even though I kinda like it) or spilled kerosene.

Nice. You still have to vent the pollutants though, correct?

That and the newly built house being well insulated means we crank the heat for about 30 minutes or so, then turn it off and it stays warm for the rest of the evening. Dead winter requires a couple of booster shots, though.

Did you have to pay extra for insulation?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

pray to sweet, gentle kamisama that they turn off the heaters on the trains, at least during peak hours. It’s an effing sauna every year

Agreed. Same as in the bus. You’d think the drivers would see everyone dressed for the cold outside and think, “Well, they don’t actually need the thermostat turned to 30 given how they’re dressed.”

2 ( +2 / -0 )

P. Smith,

Yes, we have to vent, but not if we only have the heater on in short bursts. The unit has a sensor to let us know.

The insulation was included as standard in the construction, although I’m sure we paid for it somewhere. Foam type. I’d never seen it before but it seems to do the job.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Risky:

When you say foam type insulation, do you mean as in styrofoam?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The last house we were able to use a gas heater. Town mains and points in every room. It was very effective and not so expensive to run. Now we are on propane and no outlets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

keep warm the "old-fashioned way” by wearing extra layers of clothes and eating hot meals to keep out the cold

Why does a government need to treat its adult population like children? JT shows us the man children that live in this country but aren't they the exception to the rule?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is a great idea: Dress warm in the winter!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

P. Smith,

“Spray foam insulation or spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is an alternative to traditional building insulation such as fiberglass. A two-component mixture composed of isocyanate and polyol resin comes together at the tip of a gun, and forms an expanding foam that is sprayed onto roof tiles, concrete slabs, into wall cavities, or through holes drilled in into a cavity of a finished wall.”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But the office and shopping buildings will still blast the heating. Hot all year round....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How about bringing in laws that force builders to insulate every home and workplace they build.

Eeehhhh? Bringing change to Japan? How many millennia of meetings and pre-meeting meetings might that require? After that, enacting a law that is not compulsory, but merely a suggestion (so as not to impinge on the rights enshrined in the Constitution).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The traditional Western business attire of suit, vest, and tie and women dressing in layers-upon-layers were a product of the days before central heating. Unless you were near a fireplace, it was darn cold. Warm clothing works well, and modern fabrics are much less bulky.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about "Carbon monoxide and kerosene fumes-Biz"...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Risky:

Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering if it was spray foam or the slabs of styrofoam.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Waste of time. As usual.

Hey, it's cold. Dress warmly! Hey, it's hot. Drink cold drinks.

Look, just DON'T blast the heaters in public areas when it's BARELY chilly and everything will be fine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites