Pity the poor Japanese office worker slaving away in the 28-degree heat. This year’s Cool Biz program has swung into full gear just as summer temperatures and humidity hit their peaks. The voluntary program to have office workers dress lightly to accommodate the government standard 28 degrees sounds like good policy. However, when the temperature soars outside, many people inside swelter.

Introduced in 2005, Cool Biz was supposed to change the traditionally formal suit-and-tie Japan into a much more casual feeling. That relaxed look was appealing and the savings in air conditioning costs was considerable. However, standardized regulations are just that — standardized, and so cannot fit every workplace. In large Japanese cities, office spaces vary tremendously in layout, airflow and work-space comfort, so that 28 degrees on the thermostat is not always 28 degrees on the skin.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.