KYOTO, Japan, June 12 /PRNewswire/ --

On May 31, 2009, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment (MOE) held a publicity event for the 'Cool Biz 2009' campaign in Kyoto, the first such event in Kansai (the western district of Japan) in its 5-year history. Since the campaign kicked off in 2005, workers have been encouraged to limit the use of air conditioning and wear casual clothes such as short-sleeved shirts without jackets or ties. This year, the MOE aims to expand the movement from the business scene to everyday lifestyles, using various knowledge and ideas, to stay comfortable in 28 C rooms.

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In the event, after a greeting from MOE minister Tetsuo Saito, 17 workers of 8 department stores in Kansai appeared in fashionable and functional styles including Japanese 'kimono' and showed off their outfit on the stage as models. Also, 5 executive officials from three chambers of commerce and industry (in Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe), the governor of Kyoto Prefecture and the mayor of Kyoto appealed for their environmental activities and 'Cool Biz' styles to the audience. At the finale, Danish Ambassador to Japan Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin cycled onto the stage on his beloved bicycle as a special guest right after crossing the finish line in Kyoto, the goal of the 'COP 15 eco-cycling tour'. In his speech, Mr. Mellbin praised the Japanese-initiated 'Cool Biz' environmental blitz on behalf of Danish people and expressed enthusiasm for COP 15, or the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2009, as its host.

Results of 'Cool Biz 2008' campaign

On May 26, 2009, the MOE announced results of the 'Cool Biz' campaign. The MOE conducted a web-based questionnaire survey on the Cool Biz campaign on September 26 - 29, 2008, covering some 1,200 men and women randomly extracted from an Internet sample recruited by a research company. Survey results indicate that 93.6% of the 580 respondents knew 'Cool Biz', and 61.8% answered that their offices set the air conditioner thermostat higher than in previous years. Based on these figures, the ministry estimated that the campaign resulted in a 1,720,000-ton reduction in CO2 emission, the equivalent volume of CO2 emitted by about 3.85 million households for one month.

CONTACT: Gon Matsunaka Team Minus 6% Office (Cool Biz/Warm Biz/Uchieco) Tel: +81-3-6216-9527

Gon Matsunaka of Team Minus 6% Office (Cool Biz/Warm Biz/Uchieco), +81-3-6216-9527, or / Photo: