A group of lawmakers on Friday approved a package of draft bills to introduce daylight-saving time nationwide, with an eye to submitting them to the Diet next month, members of the group said.
“I am confident the bills will be enacted because each party has shown a positive attitude,” Takeo Hiranuma, a former trade minister and a ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who heads the group, told reporters after the bills were adopted at a general meeting.
Hiranuma said there had been opposition to the introduction of daylight-saving time in the past because of concerns that there would be an increase in employee overtime, but that things had changed for the better.
It is unclear, however, whether the bills would be enacted as many lawmakers in the LDP and its coalition partner New Komeito continue to oppose daylight-saving time.
The lawmakers’ group, consisting mainly of members of the ruling coalition parties and opposition Democratic Party of Japan, was formed last summer.
The bills call for clocks to be moved ahead by one hour from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October.
The change would be implemented in 2007 and would be reviewed three years later, the draft bills say.
Daylight-saving time is aimed at curbing energy consumption during the day in the summer months as well giving people more leisure time during evening daylight hours.
Some municipalities, such as the Sapporo Municipal Government, have experimented with daylight-saving time. Several business sectors have expressed concerns that the measure could result in workers voluntarily working longer hours.
Japan introduced daylight-saving time in 1948 but scrapped it four years later as it did not produce the intended results. Many people had opted to work after their regular workday had ended.
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