Hatoyama cabinet to continue 'cool biz' campaign this summer
Wednesday 26th May, 07:12 AM JST
The government on Tuesday confirmed plans to continue this summer the ‘‘cool biz’’ light clothing campaign initiated in 2005 to help reduce air conditioning by setting office temperatures several degrees higher than usual. At a meeting of cabinet members, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano instructed ministers to don traditional Okinawan ‘‘kariyushi’’ open-neck shirts at a Cabinet meeting June 1 to mark the start of the seasonal drive, during which men are encouraged not to wear ties or jackets.
Financial affairs minister Shizuka Kamei, however, apparently refused to wear the formal but open-neck shirt, telling other cabinet members, ‘‘I don’t like it,’’ according to Hiroshi Nakai, minister in charge of abduction issues.
The energy conservation campaign began under the Liberal Democratic Party-led government of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. It will be the first such campaign for the Hatoyama government, which was launched last September following a historic victory in last summer’s general election.
Ministers have worn kariyushi shirts at cabinet meetings at the start of every summer in June since 2007, when Shinzo Abe was prime minister.