Let's discuss daylight saving time for Tokyo 2020

This week’s featured article


President of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee Yoshiro Mori met Friday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the possibility of introducing daylight saving time during the 2020 Games as a countermeasure against extreme summer temperatures.

The discussion followed a decision by the International Olympic Committee to allow the marathon to be staged at 7 a.m. to lessen the likelihood of runners competing during the peak of Tokyo’s sweltering summer, which has already seen temperatures top 40 degrees Celsius this year.

The former prime minister told reporters after the meeting that Abe said turning the clocks forward one or two hours during the games “may be one solution.”

The steps being mulled pose a stark contrast with the pitch drafted by the Tokyo 2020 bid committee, which under the heading “Ideal dates” described Tokyo’s weather from July 25 to Aug. 9 as having “many days of mild and sunny weather.”

It also added that “this period provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform at their best.”

Toshiro Muto, CEO of the organizing committee, said such extreme heat had not been factored into the planning.

“We were working under the premise that temperatures wouldn’t exceed 40 degrees. We’ve now recognized how serious this is,” Muto said.

“If this should spur us on to create a society with lower carbon emissions, then that would become an important legacy of the event,” he said.

First published in The Japan Times on July 29.

Warm up

One-minute chat about how you beat the heat.


Collect words related to time, e.g., clock, late, minutes.

New words

1) sweltering: very hot, e.g., It’s sweltering outside, so drink plenty of water.”

2) mull: think over, e.g., “Don’t accept the job straightaway. Mull it over first.”

Guess the headline

Tokyo weighs d_ _ _ _ _ _ _ s_ _ _ _ _ time for Olympics as heat wave incinerates weather descriptions used for 2020 Games bid


1) What has already been decided in order to protect athletes from the peak summer heat?

2) How did Japan describe conditions in summer when it was bidding to host the games?

3) What does the CEO of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee hope the impact of the Olympics will be?

Let’s discuss the article

1) Are you familiar with the idea of daylight saving time?

2) Do you think daylight saving time would be a good idea during the Tokyo Olympics?

3) What do you think we should do to deal with the ever-hotter summers?


とにもかくにも暑い日が続いています。 不要不急の外出を控えるようなアナウンス さえ出るほどの暑さの中、炎天下でのスポーツがどれほどかは想像するだけでも酷でしょう。 ましてや世界から選手や彼らを応援する観客を迎えるオリンピックともなれば、なしえる対策は全てするという姿勢も期待されるはずです。 とはいえ、サマータイムの導入による効果 は未知数です。何が良い打開策となるのか、 朝の会に参加し皆さんで話し合ってみま しょう。


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