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  • Japan Explores Tokyo 2020 Daylight Saving


    (ATR) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed members of the Japanese Parliament to explore a proposal that would implement daylight saving time ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

    Tokyo Skyline (ATR)
    Tokyo has been roiled by a deadly heat wave this summer, which has killed nearly 100 people across Japan. The deaths have brought a new level of concern for athlete and spectator safety during outdoor competition during the Games.
    IOC organizers say Tokyo is not the first Summer Olympics host to deal with extreme heat, and precautions are being tested. These include special pavements to reduce the temperature of roads for the marathon and triathlon events, cooling stations, and extra indoor areas in venues.

    Abe met with Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori today according to reports from Japan to discuss the proposal. Mori said that the organizing committee is in favor of daylight saving timeand proposes moving clocks forward two hours to delay sunrise in Tokyo.

    “Japan happens to be the only country amongst the major developed nations that do not implement daylight saving time so we do need some kind of an occasion or opportunity to get started on this,” Mori was previously quoted as saying about the idea. “Before we run out of time, the government needs to take this issue seriously to consider daylight saving time.”

    During the summer the sun typically rises around 4:30 am, giving plenty of time to warm up before competitions begin around 7 am. Shifting the clocks would move races effectively to an earlier time in Tokyo’s morning,  leading to cooler temperatures.

    Mori told reporters after the meeting that Abe said his party would “carefully determine” if there is enough time to implement such a proposal. Japanese business would have to adjust to a new time zone specifically for the Olympics, which could disrupt working schedules.

    Tokyo Tower at night (ATR)
    Toshiaki Endo, a member of parliament from Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, says that a decision on the matter may need to be taken in the next few months.

    News of the proposal brought mixed reactions among Japanese on social media networks such as twitter.

    “Generally, if you introduce daylight saving time in such a short time, [it will cause confusion during] the Olympics,” wrote one user.

    Japan implemented daylight saving time in the years after World War II during its occupation, but lasted only a few years due to complaints. During the 1988 Olympics, South Korea implemented daylight saving time in a temporary fashion. Neither Japan nor South Korea changes its clocks year round.

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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