Japan has started its summer "Cool Biz" casual clothing campaign with politicians ditching their suits and ties to encourage people to use less air-conditioning.
The government has asked people in both the private and public sectors to dress lightly and set the temperature of their air-conditioned offices no lower than 28?C during the hot summer months.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has pledged to discard his tie throughout the campaign, except when meeting important people from other countries.
"It feels nice not to have to wear a tie," Koizumi said, wearing a loose, white shirt in Tokyo.
The government has said that in 2005, the first Cool Biz campaign helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 460,000 tons, which is equal to the emissions from 1 million Japanese households per month.
About one-third of Japanese offices said they had significantly reduced the use of air-conditioning after last year's campaign.
But not everyone is happy. Last year tie-makers made less money during the summer months. There are also people who are not taking advantage of the opportunity to dress casually.
"Personally, I don't like to wear ties. But since that's the way it has always been done, I can't do otherwise," said one 23-year-old office worker dressed in a black suit and light-blue tie on his lunch break in central Tokyo.
Some older businessmen are especially reluctant to ditch their tie.
"Ties strangle me," joked one 64-year-old, "but since I work in a major company, they're a status symbol." (AFP)
1. Koizumi will dress casually except when ...
a. it's especially hot outside.
b. he meets with important people.
c. he is working in his office.
2. The campaign is meant to get people to use less air conditioning ...
a. at home.
b. in the car.
c. at the office.
3. What businesses were affected by last year's campaign?
a. Businesses selling ties.
b. Businesses selling air conditioners.
c. Businesses selling summer clothing.
4. Which of the following is NOT a reason why some people aren't dressing casually?
a. They are used to dressing formally.
b. Dressing formally is a symbol of status.
c. They really like wearing ties.