September 28, 2018
Tokyo- Japan now seems unlikely to introduce daylight saving time as a measure to avert intense heat during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
There is persistent opposition to the introduction of daylight saving time from within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
"Given computer system challenges and public opinion, it seems quite difficult" to adopt daylight saving time in 2020, Toshiaki Endo, former minister in charge of the Tokyo Games, told reporters following the first meeting of the party's study group on the time arrangement Thursday.
The party began to study the issue as instructed by its leader, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. This followed a request from former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, head of the Tokyo organizing committee, in July to introduce a daylight saving system to move the clocks forward by two hours during the quadrennial event.
During the panel meeting, however, a participant said it would do no good to introduce the proposed measure hastily. Another claimed that it could create too much work for system engineers who are already busy preparing for the era name change from Heisei in May next year and a planned consumption tax hike in October that year.
On Thursday, Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of Komeito, the LDP's junior coalition partner, told a press conference that his party will not consider daylight saving time, citing possible confusion among the public.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also sounded negative about daylight saving time. "It would affect the people' daily lives," he said.
Objections have been raised from the business community, as well, due to concerns about the expected huge costs and work to adopt daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time, or summer time, is currently used in European countries, the United States and other countries. But the European Union is slated to end the current system in 2019 in the face of concerns about its effects on health.
The Tokyo Games organizing committee is ready to give up on daylight saving time if it is difficult to introduce it in time for the games, Director-General Toshiro Muto said. Jiji Press
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