As if Cool Biz weren’t aggravating enough, the Diet and administrative agencies are now getting ready for Stage 2: Warm Biz. Instead of turning down the air conditioning during the hottest months of summer, they want to turn down the heating during the coldest months of winter. So instead of seeing Diet speeches given in button-down shirts with the sleeves rolled up, Sankei indicates we might see Diet speeches given in overcoats and mufflers.
The culprit appears to be Environment Minister Yuriko Koike, mistressmind behind the Cool Biz program, who apparently believes that air conditioning is going to lead to the end of the world as we know it. Compare Joi Ito’s comment on Cool Biz: “For some reason this kind of suffering feels very Japanese and annoying. There is something very ceremonial and inefficient about it.”
Maybe Warm Biz won’t be as bad, though. Wintertime street clothes would work just fine in a Warm Biz building: if you have to go into a heated building, just take your coat off. Still, it seems like a rather inadequate benefit for such a cost in discomfort.