Japan limits energy use as disaster causes crunch

Japan began imposing energy restrictions on companies, shopping centres and other major electricity users today to cope with power shortages caused by the loss of a tsunami-hit nuclear power plant.

Big factories, office buildings, universities and department stores in the Tokyo area must use 15 per cent less electricity than a year ago. Electricity is in short supply due to the shutdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant hit by the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The restrictions on power use from 9am to 8pm on weekdays last until 22 September, and violators face fines of up to 1 million yen. The limit does not apply to households, but the government has urged them to conserve energy.

"We ask their cooperation so that we can all overcome the energy crunch," trade ministry official Satoshi Koyanagi said. The government has already implemented energy-saving measures such as disabling extra elevators and turning off lights.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. expects to supply 56.8 million kilowatts for Tokyo and its vicinity in July, short of an estimated demand of 60 million kilowatts. The company said it's estimated supply would be slightly less in August.

To cope with the shortage, Sony Corporation said it would turn off air conditioning at its Tokyo headquarters after 6pm. It also is starting the business day an hour earlier at 8.30am, spokesman Atsuo Omagari said.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange turned off its electronic price ticker and will not receive visitors until the end of September.

"We are turning off all lights and air conditioning in the visitors' areas," said Yukari Hozumi, a stock exchange spokeswoman.

Major department store Mitsukoshi said it has turned off unnecessary lights and disabled some elevators and escalators.

Tokyo's city-operated subway stations are turning off air conditioning at platforms between noon and 3pm.

East Japan Railway has been operating fewer train services from noon to 3pm in the Tokyo area since 24 June.

Conservation efforts during Japan's hot summer has triggered some concerns about heat-related illnesses.

The temperature in Tokyo rose to 93 Fahrenheit (33.9 Celsius) today and could reach 100 Fahrenheit during the next three months.

"Be careful about heat strokes," warned the Meteorological Agency, which has set up a special site for the problem on its website.

The government also has launched a campaign urging office workers to shed their suits and ties for lighter clothes such as polo shirts to endure the country's summer heat.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power