The Environment Ministry kicked off Super Cool Biz last week, starting a four-month campaign that will run through Sept. 30.
Workers are encouraged to wear light clothing and adjust their lifestyles for summer to limit the nation’s power consumption and thus contribute to stemming climate change. Men are encouraged to work without jackets and ties, while businesses are asked to set air conditioners at 28 degrees.
The ministry is not recommending any particular type of clothing for women on the grounds that their clothes are generally cooler than men’s.
A ministry official in charge of the campaign said men in suits in the past kept the thermostats set lower, causing women to add more clothing.
The Super Cool Biz initiative follows the annual Cool Biz campaign the ministry launched in 2005. The new plan goes a step further, in that it “allows” people to wear polo or Hawaiian shirts and denim.
The new regimen is considered necessary because of the expected power shortages this summer brought on by the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
The ministry also wants people to start work early and sprinkle water around their houses to induce cooling.
It is also promoting the Cool Share concept, including using just one air conditioner at home with all family members in the same room, or escaping the heat by going to public venues such as libraries and museums.
The ministry is asking such venues to offer free admission during the campaign.