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June 12, 2008, Korea - "Panel Pushes for Daylight Saving System", The Chosun Ilbo & Digital Chosun Ilbo.


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Panel Pushes for Daylight Saving System.

The Federation of Korean Industries held a symposium on the introduction of the daylight saving time system on Monday at the FKI building in Yeouido.

During daylight saving system clocks are set an hour ahead of standard time to make the most of the longer daylight in the summer. The system was implemented in Korea in 1987 and 1988, before the Seoul Olympic Games of 1988.

The panel at the debate agreed that daylight saving would save energy and help boost domestic business and tourism. Seong Shi-hyun, head of the energy management team at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said, "Of the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, only Korea, Japan and Iceland have not introduced daylight saving." Implementing the system for six months from April to September would result in savings of W86 billion (1US$=W938) of energy, Seong said.

Lee Sung-geun from the Korea Energy Economics Institute said the system would create more opportunities for people to enjoy outdoor sports, watch movies and other activities. "Setting the clock ahead one hour would induce W2.15 trillion of production and consumption effects in the service industry," he said.

Park Sam-gu, chairman of Kumho Asiana Group and head of the Ad Hoc Committee on Tourism Industry, said the Keidaren, or Japanese Federation of Economic Organizations, has offered a way for Korea and Japan to introduce the system together.

There is some opposition to the system. Labor organizations oppose daylight saving, saying it could lead to longer work hours and harm people's biorhythm. They want to know if employees in Korea's corporate culture would really be allowed to leave the office an hour earlier if they went to work an hour earlier.

When daylight saving was introduced before the Olympic Games in 1988, the perception that the system was for the convenience of Western visitors was widely accepted, and the suspension of the system after two years was confusing. That is why opinions from all parts of the society are being gathered before the system is implemented.

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