From left: Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Nobuteru Ishihara, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso attend a cabinet meeting Friday at the prime minister's office, wearing "kariyushi, the formal shirts from Okinawa. Photo: Kyodo
politics

Abe, cabinet ministers promote Super Cool Biz

39 Comments

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ministers got into the Super Cool Biz spirit on Friday by attending a cabinet meeting, wearing kariyushi -- a summer shirt, similar to a Hawaiian shirt, from Okinawa.

Super Cool Biz — which began Thursday — is an extension of the government’s Cool Biz campaign, which started on May 1.

After the cabinet meeting, Abe changed back into a regular suit for the rest of his engagements for the day.

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 encourages offices to turn down air conditioners to set office temperatures at 28 degrees Celsius.

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.

The environment ministry has held Cool Biz fashion shows and talk shows across the country as part of efforts to promote the initiative.

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39 Comments
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Geez, they couldve at least ironed the shirts, they look like three elderly slobs at a bar.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

A summer shirt from Okinawa similar to a Hawaiian shirt, or exact copy. Why are these old men trying to be fashion experts when their entire lives their mum and then wife dress them. It's summer cotton is cooler than wool I get it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

After the cabinet meeting, Abe changed back into a regular suit for the rest of his engagements for the day.

Thus perfectly highlighting the deadly flaw of the whole program: people won't actually wear the things when it comes time to doing serious work in the office. If the guy promoting it to the country can't keep it up during his meetings and important business, why would anyone else?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I think Japan Today meant "Super UNCOOL biz"!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

They look so comfortable in them... NOT! It depends on the body type, if you work out and are trim and muscular they can look good if they are tight fitting (tribal designs are best). But loose fitting ones on older or lanky guys dont look good at all.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Didnt know it was SUPER cool biz now! but its still useless if you have to change back into a suit to do any work once the photo op is done.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I fail to see anything cool about them.

Meanwhile, the private high school I work in insists male teachers wear a tie all through summer and are also supposed to wear a jacket in the classroom with the thermostats set at 26'. The students must also wear a tie and the female students must wear a sweater or knitted vest. This is because they believe it makes better teachers and better students. Even though, they all face certain heatstroke if the rules are strictly adhered to.

Japan is definitely a land of contrasts.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Disillusioned, you must be atoning for some sins in a past life. The kids can't possibly break free but you still can. Run, run while you can, for the love of god. I couldn't summon that much gaman if my life depended on it.

In my classroom I am the voice of god. 23 degress all day today, no tie no jacket since Golden Week.

Anyway, these guys look like uncool bowlers.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Guys, cut them some slack will ya! Just 3 middle aged/older men trying to do 'the right' thing for a photo op. Pretty sure many/most JT readers look as uncool as those 3 (they just don't know it)

1 ( +5 / -4 )

In my classroom I am the voice of god. 23 degress all day

LOL. Glad to know I'm not the only one. Gave them fair warning a few weeks ago to bring an extra long sleeve shirt if they get cold easily.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Goons

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Goldorak,

Thanks for the laugh.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So, question. "Super cool biz" is different from "Cool biz" in what respect?? "Cool biz" started on May 1st and lasts until Sep. 30th. "Super cool biz" started on June 1st and lasts until?? August 30th??

And is there a difference in attire?? Well, whatever, its about time for a Super Dry!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They just look like ordinary shirts to me...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

28 degrees in my office and you still hear some of the women squeaking 'samuii!' when someone turns a fan on. This seems to be a phenomenon limited to women under 30.

The shirts in the picture are an eyesore. Aso reminds me of Roth in the scenes in Cuba in Godfather 2.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Some of the comments here are showing off some serious ignorance about the kariyushi shirts these three are wearing.

Based upon looks alone, and coming from someone who owns at least 30 of these shirts those are high quality HANDMADE shirts. THE cheapest one in the bunch is probably around 30,000円.

They are not aloha shirts, not even close, the high end made literally from scratch, hand woven and hand died shirts run up to about 450,000円。If properly taken care of these shirts will last damn near forever, and are a great investment for any business person here in Okinawa.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Hard to believe that senior politicians in a "civilised" country are both falling for and promoting the "hot summer" hoax, put about by the Chinese and their lefty-snowflake allies....

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

After the cabinet meeting, Abe changed back into a regular suit for the rest of his engagements for the day

Effectively making this pointless. Who is actually going to do this? Looks like another say one thing so another.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You own 30 kariyushi? Just in case you want to wear a different one every day for a month? Congratulations, you win a prize.

It doesn't surprise me that Abe and his fan club would wear expensive shirts for a press photo and then immediately change into something more businesslike.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What kind of govt? Do they believe that Japanese are super stupid?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is a formal wear from Okinawa that is similar to the Hawaiian style, that is "Karushi" for the meetings in Okinawan islets.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You own 30 kariyushi? Just in case you want to wear a different one every day for a month? Congratulations, you win a prize.

I bought a few,every year for quite a number of years. Typically when the season is over, and got them at a huge discount, some as much as 50%, and saved a lot of cash. I have that many so I can rotate them, in and out of dry cleaning, and they last forever.

This is a link to Majun Okinawa, one of the biggest local producers of kariyushi wear

http://www.majun-okinawa.jp/catalog/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh and the prices in that catalog are reasonable for their shirts. You can get others for under 5,000 but you will know the difference right away.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My wardrobe isn't big enough for 30 "summer shirts". Who needs 30 of anything?

too funny for words.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Regardless, why arent they all wearing shorts?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Or thongs? :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Regardless, why arent they all wearing shorts?

Or thongs?

Please tell us your use of the word 'thongs' was referring to atrocious footwear.

Another use of that word could conjure an image which could disturb minds for years to come.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

28 degrees in my office and you still hear some of the women squeaking 'samuii!' when someone turns a fan on. This seems to be a phenomenon limited to women under 30.

Certainly a phenomenon with people whose body fat is in the teens. No insulation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@jcapan - Disillusioned, you must be atoning for some sins in a past life. The kids can't possibly break free but you still can. Run, run while you can, for the love of god. I couldn't summon that much gaman if my life depended on it.

I'm pretty sure 4 million yen a year, plus two month's salary twice a year as bonus and direct hire could encourage you to summon the ganman. I'm damn sure I wouldn't be putting up with it and polishing apples for any less.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Y'all look silly...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My wardrobe isn't big enough for 30 "summer shirts". Who needs 30 of anything?

When you get to be my age you will find that things start to accumulate over time. No reason to just toss something out because it's "old" when it's still wearable and fashionable.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

My wardrobe isn't big enough for 30 "summer shirts". Who needs 30 of anything? too funny for words.

One other thing, while you may think it's funny...when you live on a semi-tropical island and have days when it is more than prudent to change shirts during the course of a day, or face killing off everyone around you will your stench, you will appreciate the numbers more.

Oh and maybe someday too you will be well off enough to be able to afford the wardrobe too! That didn't come by magic, but by hard work, and being conscious enough of the people around me that I care about my hygiene and care about looking right when I am working, that's called pride.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I do not think that this cool biz trend is good for Japanese business culture. I fear that it will only promote disorder and lead to more insolence in the work place. I notice there is a tendency for the younger staffs in my company to take off their jacket and tie during work but I would​ prefer them to keep it on.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

^ depends on the types of work. If they need to meet clients, then it would be appropriate to dress properly. For example, I am in IT and I face machines or my co-workers in OT day in and day out, there is no need for us to wear suits and ties unless we have to meet someone from outside the company and has to represent the company.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is the point of being allowed to wear a short sleeved shirt and no tie if you are then subjected to sweltering 28 degree temperatures? The workplace should always be a cool 22 degrees. If people are expected to work in higher temperatures they should only have to wear shorts and t shirt otherwise it is inhumane.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Three Amigos, JP style......Now if they took off their pants to promote max aircon at 28 deg, would they put them on in winter when everyone cranks up the heaters to 25 Deg. hypocrisy and propaganda fail to convince me that Koike San will not be prime minister soon

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Will it be call Super Premium Cool Biz next year?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Please tell us your use of the word 'thongs' was referring to atrocious footwear. 

No, we call those "Flip Flops" A thong is what a woman wears, very skimpy and revealing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bass4funk June 4 05:00 pm JST

Please tell us your use of the word 'thongs' was referring to atrocious footwear. 

No, we call those "Flip Flops" A thong is what a woman wears, very skimpy and revealing.

In Australian English thongs are flip flops.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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