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July 10, 2006, Korea - "Koreans back daylight savings plan", by Annie I. Bang , The Korea Herald


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A majority of Koreans support the implementation of the daylight savings time, also known as summer time, which the government considers introducing as early as 2008, a recent survey shows.

According to a nationwide of survey among 500 adults by broadcaster KBS, 56 percent backed the introduction of daylight savings time while 29 percent was against it.

Over 54 percent of male and 58 percent of female respondents accepted the project, while 37 percent of males and 22 percent of females rejected it.

Daylight saving time is a system of adjusting the official local time forward by one hour from its official standard time during the summer.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy has already commissioned a research project and has said the system may begin as early as 2008.

"Although it is not firmly set to be enforced, I think the introduction of the system is desirable at this point of escalating oil prices," Commerce Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a local radio show Friday. "We will pursue it as we gather public opinions over it."

Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook said earlier last week that the government would consider the system when public consensus can be reached.

She noted that daylight savings time is operated in 86 countries including all members of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development except Korea, Japan and Ireland.

Korea ran a daylight saving program from 1949-61 but stopped it during the 1950-53 Korean War.

The system was temporarily enforced between 1987 and 1988 when Seoul hosted the Olympics to help schedule the main events closer to the prime time television hours in the United States and Europe.

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