Japan Fights Heat Tooth and Nail—But Not With A/C

Tokyo cooks up stigma against energy waste
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2007 4:08 PM CDT
A model, who is an employee of Mitsukoshi department store, displays men's summer wear during a "Cool Biz" fashion show at the department store in Tokyo Friday, June 1, 2007. Marking the launch of the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Japanese are waging a painful war against energy consumption, meeting summer needs not with air-conditioning but with business casual clothing and a good dose of grinning and bearing it. The 2-year-old Cool Biz movement, which aims to keep office temperatures at 82 degrees, took off in earnest this summer, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The eco-conscious country has taken Cool Biz to heart. A hotline allows whistleblowers to rat out abusers, and cooling pads and desk fans are catching on. The movement has opponents—a spokesman for an A/C manufacturer calls 82 "an energy-saving environment—not a human environment"—but many cling to Japan’s ingrained formality, refusing to shed suits and ties.