Japanese, in Shortage, Willingly Ration Watts via The New York Times

Published: July 28, 2011

TOKYO — With Japan suffering from electricity shortages this summer, Michio Kuniyuki has stepped up his conservation patrols of Rikkyo University.

As he has done these past six summers, Mr. Kuniyuki spends his days making sure the lights and air-conditioning have not been left on in empty classrooms. Whenever he finds students in a classroom, he turns off the air-conditioning and inquires about the lights.

“Should I leave them on or can I turn them off?” Mr. Kuniyuki asked one day.

“Uh,” one young man hesitated, giving Mr. Kuniyuki the opening for his next move.

Click. Off.

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