“Under Japan’s corporate culture many workers feel obligated to work until it is dark outside—no matter what their starting time.” Last week we reported on the Japanese government’s “Super Cool Biz” business clothing campaign, which encourages office workers to dress in cooler business attire for summer instead of the traditional heavy suits and skirts which have become the symbols of salarypeople in Japan. This week, Tokyo’s city government is taking things a step further by establishing summer hours, under which some employees report for work an hour earlier to take advantage of cooler morning working conditions, and to save costs related to air conditioning. And, of course, these workers get to leave an hour earlier, effectively creating a sort of daylight savings time without actually changing the clocks. But establishing actual American-style daylight savings time is also under consideration, much as the Japanese have traditionally very much disliked the idea. (National Public Radio – Japan’s “Daylight Savings”) The Guardian UK report has some extra details on summer hours in Japan: 10,000 on Tokyo Summer Hours.
Australians Consider Japanese Quiet on Trains
“Vomiting salarymen on late night trains aside, Tokyo journeys are largely a silent experience.” Have you ever made or received a cell phone call while on a train in Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya? Bad foreigner, bad. In Japan this is considered bad etiquette, taboo even. It violates an unwritten Japanese social contract. Well, in some states and cities in Australia, government officials would like to write that Japanese contract down in ink. In Queensland, for example, there are already cell phone quiet zones at the front and the back of all trains. Officials in Sydney and in New South Wales are mulling over a similar implementation. Although there currently are no plans to impose fines for quiet zone violations, the zones on trains would ban not only cell phone conversations, but also playing music and interpersonal conversations above a certain acceptable volume. It seems like a very considerate and civilized move in a country known for boisterous and larger-than-life behavior. (CNNGo – Australian Quiet Zones)