Lifestyle & Belief

Japan execs take it all off


Models display summer business wear in Tokyo on June 1, 2011.


Yoshikazu Tsuno

The Japanese government is encouraging people to take their clothes off in order to save electricity

OK, it isn't quite as exciting as it sounds.

They are asking people to wear fewer layers in the workplace so that businesses don't need to crank the A/C.

And they're not kidding.

The campaign, called "Super Cool Biz," is aimed at cutting power use this summer by 15 percent, according to Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto.

"This is a big movement in which Japan is not only trying to survive this summer but to change its own lifestyle for the future," he said. And it will be a big shift for Japan, where workers are known for wearing a dark suit no matter the weather.

As you can see from this video, Matsumoto looked fetching, yet reasonable, in a white, short-sleeved shirt while speaking at a fashion show in Tokyo last week.

The outfits the government has endorsed are far from scandalous (more like business-casual). Though still no flip-flops or jeans.

Ever since the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant on March 11, energy output has plummeted in Japan.

There is a threat of blackouts this summer, if Japan fails to rein it in — or shall we say, let it all hang out.