Japan to Workers: Save Energy, Wear Hawaiian Shirts

Government looks to go casual amid power shortages
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2011 5:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's going to be a sweaty summer in Japanese government offices: The country is facing power shortages caused by the nuclear crisis, but many bureaucrats are balking at suggestions that they dress down for the summer to cut the need for air conditioning. The government's "Super Cool Biz" campaign suggests workers shed their suits and wear Hawaiian shirts or T-shirts, jeans, and sandals instead.

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"Super Cool Biz would be difficult to implement because we receive lots of guests from outside the ministry, including many foreigners," one trade ministry official tells the Wall Street Journal. "I can imagine keeping a suit at my desk to change into when meeting people, but I can't imagine meeting guests in a T-shirt or a polo shirt," another official says. They may change their tune as the weather heats up: To do their part for energy-saving efforts, government offices and many private firms have pledged to keep the office thermostat 82 degrees Fahrenheit—28 Celsius—all summer. (Read more dress code stories.)

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