While the kanji for “hot” was chosen as emblematic of 2010, setsuden, or electricity conservation, seems to be the keyword for 2011, or at least for the coming summer.
Offices and factories are turning up thermostats and turning off lights, cutting back on overtime, and shifting work hours. Stations throughout Tokyo have turned off lights and escalators. Beverage vending machines are under attack for eating up too much electricity.
Individuals are being urged to turn off lights, limit the use of air conditioners and turn down the brightness on their TV screens. Arakawa Ward in Tokyo is planning to hold a summer setsuden “mileage” contest in which residents can win setsuden products, such as a strap enabling one to recharge a cell phone with solar power, if they can demonstrate use of 20 percent less electricity than in the same month the year before.
Continue reading at “The new setsuden culture” via the Japan Times Online.