AIU Insurance Co. is blazing a trail that would have been unthinkable not so long ago in terms of the government's 'Super Cool Biz' energy saving campaign.
Instead of wearing open-necked short-sleeved shirts, male employees are donning casual Japanese "yukata" and "jinbei" for office wear each Friday in August.
The policy took effect Aug. 5 with a decision to maintain a slightly higher office temperature.
Yukata, traditionally made of cotton, is a light-version of kimono worn in summer, while jinbei--a shirt and pants made of cotton or linen--is more often associated with casual-style home wear.
The insurer set up dressing rooms in the office for employees who need to change their clothes. About 20 employees used the dressing room on Aug. 5.
One employee, relaxing in the freedom of jinbei, said he was able to communicate better with other divisions and work harder.
The man said he hoped to get through the sweltering summer in good health so he can help people disaster-stricken areas of northeastern Japan.
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