Japanese officials are considering introducing daylight saving time to help cope with severe power shortages that likely will last for months.
Japan has resisted daylight saving time for nearly 60 years, dumping the practice after the U.S. occupation ended. While Japanese politicians have attempted to bring back daylight saving time in recent years, skeptics have feared it would just keep workers in their offices longer.
But according to Kyodo News agency, Japanese industry minister Banri Kaieda said bringing back daylight saving time may help avoid major blackouts in the summer, when energy consumption peaks because of scorching temperatures.
Kaieda also suggested other policy changes that could bring discomfort to people, according to Kyodo. He suggested raising electricity charges on households and extending workers' summer vacations -- a practice that could be difficult for a society known for a strong work ethic.