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Tuesday, 7th June 2011
In Business In Japan,

Tokyo's office workers start early to save energy

Faced with a summer of power shortages, many of Tokyo's businesses have started operating earlier working days to save energy and cut down on air conditioning costs.

City workers on early shifts will be required to start at 07:30 local time and leave at around 16:15, the Associated Press reports.

This move comes in reaction to calls for Japan to operate a country-wide daylight savings time system, like the UK does during the summer months.

Shintaro Ishihara, governor of Tokyo, said of the changes: "It should be a good thing, and it doesn't require any cost. I think all of Japan should shift to summer time hours."

The energy saving drive comes after the government set a mandatory 15 per cent reduction target for all public and private sector offices.

Measures include limiting the amount of air conditioning used, and this discomfort is being balanced out by the introduction of more informal office dress codes, such as allowing employees to wear polo shirts instead of a tie and jacket.

Written by Mark Smith