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August 28, 2007, Korea - "Korea, Japan agree to work closely on daylight savings time policies", The Korean Overseas Information Service (KOIS).


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Korea and Japan have agreed to work closely on daylight savings time policies, the government said Tuesday (Aug. 28).

The agreement reached at the bilateral working level meeting of policymakers in Seoul, calls for an exchange of information and prior notification if either country pushes forward the energy conservation move, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said.

"Because of the close economic relations and impact a unilateral move could have on the other country, both sides concurred on the need to work together on this issue," a ministry official said.

The two countries currently share the same time zone, but if one decided to introduce the Summer Time system, it could affect routine business operations such as placing calls to partners and plane schedules.

Many Korean and Japanese businesses advocate daylight savings time, but public opinion has been divided, making it hard for governments to implement the policy that is common among other industrialized economies in Europe and North America.

Seoul and Tokyo policymakers have hinted that daylight savings time could be beneficial in cutting down energy that the two import from abroad.

Workers and large unions in particular oppose the system, claiming it would result in longer work hours without any real benefits to workers. Overtime work is common in both Northeast Asian countries with most workers not requesting extra pay for their additional work.

Korea tried daylight saving time twice, in 1986 and 1988, when the nation hosted the Asian Games and Olympic Games.

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