4 Jun 2011

Cooler clothes encouraged in Japan

10:03 am on 4 June 2011

The government in Japan wants office workers to shed their suits so they will use less electricity on air conditioning systems this summer.

Employees are being encouraged to wear outfits appropriate for the office, yet cool enough to endure the summer heat.

The BBC reports that polo shirts and trainers are allowed. Jeans and sandals are also acceptable under certain circumstances.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant was severely damaged by the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March.

A dress code promoted by the Environment Ministry suggests that men may consider wearing a pair of tight pedal pushers or carry a fan with them.

While there are no specific rules for women, the BBC reports that ensembles for women have also been displayed.

Khakis, white trousers and airy polyester dresses all appear to be acceptable.

Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto said the government is asking for a reduction of 15% in electricity consumption.

''This is not just about surviving this summer, but this is a big turning point for changing the way Japanese live and our lifestyle,'' she said.

Last month, carmakers agreed to work on Saturdays and Sundays and move their weekend break to Thursdays and Fridays in order to help to avoid power shortages.