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The Media Mix column “Keeping up appearances in the workplace” in the April 28 issue was a real eye-opener. It says office workers at Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan Inc. are allowed to wear casual clothes such as jeans and sneakers. The article also says that the company’s advertising will incorporate its employees’ “refreshing fashion style.” This is the most innovative business strategy I’ve ever heard of.

Generally speaking, individuals are guaranteed certain rights by the Constitution, and yet two Osaka subway drivers were harshly criticized for sporting facial hair, while high heels and makeup on female cabin attendants are examples of gender discrimination. Whether public or private, employees should adhere to the established rules, but some rules aren’t reasonable or logical and need to be revised. It is important to note if employees don’t feel comfortable in their workplace. That could make high staff turnover even worse.

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