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September 28, 2018, Japan - "‘Difficult’ daylight saving a no-go for 2020 Tokyo Games",
by TAKAHIRO OKUBO, Asahi Shimbun

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Tokyo Imperial Palace, Japan
Photo © Alexander Krivenyshev, WorldTimeZone.com

Tokyo Imperial Palace Japan  Photo Alexander Krivenyshev WorldTimeZone
74% of Japanese companies against daylight saving time for 2020 Olympics: poll

Plans to introduce daylight saving time to protect athletes and spectators from excessive heat at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have apparently been shelved after the move proved unpopular with the government members.

Toshiaki Endo, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and former minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, told reporters on Sept. 27 that it would be “difficult” to introduce the measure for the event.

Reluctance has spread among government officials and many LDP members since the idea was floated.

The LDP held the first meeting of a study group that was set up to discuss the positive and negative effects of daylight saving time on Sept. 27. LDP lawmakers raised a string of criticisms of the proposal, including the extent of the impact it would have on people’s daily lives, and fears for the significant work and costs it would take to adjust electronic systems of all kinds.

After the meeting, Endo said that he personally wanted to introduce the summer time system by 2020, but that, “It is physically difficult because of technical hurdles and public reluctance."

Endo emphasized that if it were to proceed, the introduction of daylight saving time would not be just for the 2020 Games, but that he would want to make it “a step toward creating a low-carbon society.”

The study group is expected to continue the discussion to publish an interim report on the feasibility of the proposal by the end of fiscal 2018 at the latest.

The idea to move clocks forward by one or two hours during the summer of 2020 and the Tokyo Games was initially suggested as a way of staging some outdoor sporting events during cooler hours of the day.

The idea was the brainchild of former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who is the president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

After receiving a request from Mori to consider a possible change in the law to realize the idea, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed his party to look into it in August.

The LDP had initially hoped to submit nonpartisan legislation to the extraordinary Diet session this autumn to introduce daylight saving time from 2020.

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