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Japan's ruling party abandons plan for daylight saving time

By JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI Published: November 10, 2018

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has confirmed it will abandon a plan to introduce daylight saving time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The decision, made during Friday's meeting of a study group on the issue, means the LDP will not seek to submit a bill for the system's adoption during the current Diet session.

The study group reached the decision by taking into account, among other considerations, that the introduction of daylight saving time would cause problems regarding computer system changes and that member countries of the European Union are moving toward suspending the practice.

Introducing the practice of advancing the clock during summer months was requested by the organizing committee of the Tokyo Games, including its President Yoshiro Mori, as part of measures to better deal with the fierce summer heat during marathon and other outdoor events. Based on the request, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked his party to discuss the issue.

"We're discussing advancing the starting time for marathon and some other events," said Toshiaki Endo, a former minister in charge of the Games, during the Friday meeting.

It has been pointed out that introducing daylight saving time in 2019 would run into shortages in human resources for computer system changes, because the year will also see not only the crown prince's enthronement and the change of the era name, but also a rise in the consumption tax rate.

During Friday's meeting, some members also showed negative views for the introduction of daylight saving time in 2020 or later, citing concerns that the system would cause adverse impacts on people's health and would not have much effect for energy saving.