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Saturday, June 04, 2005
Japanese office workers value traditions, including wearing jackets and ties, and maynot accept a dress casual campaign.

TOKYO --Japan's bureaucratic rank and file march in dark jackets and ties to government offices everyday, sweating their way through the country's sticky, sweltering summers.

Starting today, they'll be sweating a little less.

In a nationwide campaign to save energy by cutting down on air conditioning, the government has asked public workers to leave their ties and jackets for the summer.

Many people would have no problem with that but in Japan conformity and tradition are prized, workers find it tough to comply. To persuade them to set their inhibitions aside, the effot dubbed "Cool Biz", has enlisted help from the highest authorities.

How to manual issued

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi recently showed up in a newspaper advertisement wearing a half-sleeve shirt with no tie, urging his cabinet to follow suit.

"If the minsiters are wearing a tie, their subordinates would feel uneasy about not wearing it," he said a few weeks ago. "So the ministries should not wear a tie."

To rally support, and reassure bureaucratic unfamiliar with being laid back, the Environmental Ministry has released a manual on dressing down -- with hints such as matching the colors of your belt and shoes.

"We try to explain why just untying your necktie won't do. We show how to achieve an acceptable business look without wearing a tie", said Kentago Doi, the ministry official in charge of the campaign.

(Associated Press/ Chisaki Watanabe)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:21 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
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About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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