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