Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
Every summer we hear more about the Daylight Saving Time debate in Japan. The government seems to have a perpetual committee considering the matter, which very well may have a secret mandate never to reach a conclusion. Writers to the Readers Forum column parade its reputed self-evident advantages with persuasive enthusiasm.
But I don’t know. I grew up in a country with Daylight Saving Time and the only thing it meant to me was another of life’s little bothers. What are the advantages? It saves energy? How? Industry works indoors with artificial light. Householders rely on artificial light inside. Sunlight through the window might be pretty, but we still need our lamps indoors all day long. The public might spend more time out of doors in the light, exercising and socializing with each other. But if any of that is true or has measurable effects they seem to be negligible. It’s good for farmers? How? Farmers work by the sunlight. The time on the clock is irrelevant to their work. It would boost tourism? Again, how exactly would it do that, and is it verifiable, or at least verified in other countries? Maybe the best argument is that DST would bring Japaninto line with other countries in the world - partner and client nations - contributing to enhanced systemic efficiency.
Of course it’s a bother to be woken up at 4:30in the morning with almost full daylight shining in our windows, but that’s just another sign that we’re in Japan. Besides, I have curtains.