The Yomiuri ShimbunThe “Jisa Biz” campaign will begin on Tuesday in the Tokyo area, in a bid to encourage people to commute to work at different times in the morning.
Railway companies will operate extra trains during early morning hours throughout the campaign, which will run through July 25. About 230 private companies and municipal governments will participate.
The campaign urges companies and other employers to introduce teleworking, in which employees work at home or outside the office, and flextime, through which employees can more flexibly choose their work hours.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike proposed the Jisa Biz campaign. She has vowed to eliminate the extreme congestion on trains experienced by many workers.
In response to the proposal, the Tokyo metropolitan government implemented a system in April allowing employees to choose their work arrival time from one of nine time slots, ranging from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The metropolitan government has also introduced teleworking. About 30 officials raising children have worked from home through the program. The metropolitan government will encourage employees to begin work earlier through various methods during the campaign, including opening cafeterias in the building earlier than usual.
Railway companies in the Tokyo metropolitan area will also take measures to ease commuter congestion. Tokyu Corp. will operate extra express trains called “Jisa Biz Liners” from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. The extra trains will only stop at four stations between Chuorinkan and Shibuya stations on the Denentoshi Line.
The commute time over that distance on the extra trains is estimated to be 39 minutes, 11 minutes shorter than on local express trains departing from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Passengers can receive coupons for convenience stores and other shops if they pass through Shibuya Station by 7:30 a.m. Participants must register for the service in advance through mobile phones or other devices.
A spokesperson for Tokyu said, “We hope the service will help promote various morning activities.”
Tokyo Metro Co. plans on running three additional trains between Nakano and Nishifunabashi stations on the Tozai Line, notorious for its congestion, from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. to ease rush hour crowding.
Koike is known for previously popularizing “Cool Biz” attire, a lighter style of clothing popular with workers during the summer.
“Crowded trains are synonymous with Tokyo and impede improvements in productivity and individual skills,” the governor said. “After Cool Biz, I want Jisa Biz to be the next big thing to change society.”Speech