NE Japan Earthquake Day 113: Production Halted at All Japanese Automobile Companies, Osaka Governor Hashimoto Opposes Corporate Rationing, Kansai Governments Voluntarily Ration

Toyota Headquarters Empty July 1
The conspicuously empty parking lot of Toyota Motor Company Headquarters on Thursday, July 1, a substitute holiday. Photo by Haruka Takahashi on a Yomiuri Shimbun helicopter.

Production Halted at All Japanese Automobile Companies
Yomiuri Shimbun: 自動車各社が一斉休業…トヨタ工場周辺閑散
July 1, 2011

In an effort to disperse national electricity usage throughout the week, on Thursday, July 1 all Japanese car companies, from Toyota on down, called a “substitute holiday” and were dormant for the entire day.

In July, August, and September, employees of these companies will take Thursday and Friday off and work on Saturday and Sunday.

All 12 manufacturing plants at the home of Toyota’s headquarters, Toyoda city, Aichi prefecture, and about 300,000 Toyota employees around the country took the day off. Chronic rush hour problems in the Mikawa region of Aichi, where Toyota and other motor companies are concentrated, were alleviated. Department stores in Nagoya and Toyoda enjoyed extra business from customers taking “weekday vacations”.

Osaka Governor Hashimoto Sends Anti-Rationing Email to 2000 Businesses
Yomiuri Shimbun: 橋下知事、2000社に反節電メール
July 1, 2011

On the 1st, Osaka Governor Tōru Hashimoto told the press that “because we’re trying to control electricity usage at peak hours by limiting air conditioning in homes and offices, we don’t need to levy excessive rationing on corporations and small- to mid-sized businesses,” repeating the business world’s anti-rationing stance.

On the same day, Prefectural Hall sent an email to about 2000 Osaka businesses, both large and small, saying “We will not ask you to ration electricity in a manner that negatively affects your business.” It was labeled “a message from Governor Hashimoto” and is currently displayed on the prefecture’s home page.

Electricity Rationing PosterA poster announcing the suspension of elevator service in order to save electricity. Osaka City Hall, June 30. Photo by Atsushi Ozaki.

Will Kansai City Halls’ Electricity Rationing Make a Difference? In Truth, They Don’t Buy from Corporation Requesting Cuts
Yomiuri Shimbun: 庁舎節電、効果ない?…実は関電から買ってない
July 1, 2011

Kansai Power’s request for “15% electricity savings” led Kansai regional governments to begin implementing rationing measures on the 1st. All local governments are trying to contribute, but the city halls of Osaka, Nara, and 4 other major cities do not buy their power from Kansai Power anyway, so their rationing will not directly aid the company.

Osaka Governor Tōru Hashimoto’s proposed “AC suspension strategy” is not expected to contribute, either. City halls stress that they’re wrestling with the problem in order to “do everything possible to enlighten the public,” but staff members are already complaining that “if you think it won’t make a difference, there’s no point in doing it.”

When the electricity industry was deregulated in 2000, electricity providers outside the big corporations were allowed to participate in the market. Since then, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, and Sakai’s city halls have signed contracts with a small business called the Ennet Corporation (based in Tokyo) whose investors are companies like Osaka Gas.

近畿府県、政令市庁舎の電気調達先
Kansai Public Service Electricity Rationing Plans
Government Office, Electricity Provider, Plan
Shiga Prefecture, Kansai Power: Leave all hallway lights switched off.
Kyoto Prefecture, Kansai Power: Restrict air conditioning
Kyoto City, Ennet: Ration light usage
Osaka Prefecture, Ennet: Halt air conditioning
Osaka City, Ennet: Ration light usage
Sakai City: Ennet: Use heat sealers
Hyogo Prefecture, Kansai Power: Daylight Saving Time (move beginning and ending of work day one hour earlier)
Kobe City, Ennet: Decrease air conditioning usage
Nara Prefecture, Ennet: Ration light usage
Wakayama Prefecture, Kansai Power: No overtime allowed in August

The electricity providers for all regional government offices except Wakayama’s were decided by a competitive bidding process.

Original/原稿:
自動車各社が一斉休業…トヨタ工場周辺閑散

平日休業が始まり、駐車場に空きが目立つトヨタ自動車本社(1日、読売機から)=高橋はるか撮影

平日に集中する電力需要を少しでも分散させるため、自動車各社では1日、「振り替え操業」が本格的に始まり、トヨタ自動車などが一斉に休業した。

7~9月の3か月間、木曜と金曜を休みにして土曜と日曜に出勤する。

トヨタは本社(愛知県豊田市)や愛知県内の12工場などがすべて休業となり、全国で約30万人のトヨタグループ従業員が休んだ。トヨタ関連などの自動車産業が集積する愛知県三河地方では、平日は早朝から慢性的に混雑している工場周辺の人や車の流れが減った。一方、名古屋市や豊田市の百貨店などでは、「平日休み」を楽しむ買い物客らの姿が目立った。
(2011年7月1日11時52分 読売新聞)

橋下知事「過度な節電必要ない」と2000社に

大阪府の橋下徹知事は1日、府庁で報道陣に「電力使用のピーク時対応は家庭やオフィスのエアコン節電でやるので、産業界や中小企業は過度な節電をする必要はない」と述べ、産業界の「反節電」を訴えた。

府は同日、府内の大手・中小企業など約2000社に対し、「事業活動に影響を及ぼすような節電はお願いしない」とするメールを配信した。メールは「橋下知事からのメッセージ」として、府のホームページでも公表している。
(2011年7月1日15時09分 読売新聞)

庁舎節電、効果ない?…実は関電から買ってない

節電のため用意されたエレベーター停止を知らせる貼り紙(6月30日、大阪市役所で)=尾崎孝撮影

関西電力からの「15%節電」要請で7月1日から近畿各地で本格化する節電対策。各自治体も知恵を絞るが、大阪府と奈良県、4政令市は、本庁舎などの電気を関電から購入しておらず、節電には直接結びつかないことがわかった。

停電危機の打開策として大阪府の橋下徹知事が打ち出した「エアコン停止作戦」にも貢献できないという。節電に取り組む各自治体は「あくまで住民への啓発が目的」と強調するが、職員からは「効果がないと思うとむなしい」とのぼやきも漏れる。

2000年の電力自由化に伴い、電力会社以外の事業者も市場参入が可能になった。これを受け、近畿では、2府県と大阪、京都、神戸、堺の4政令市が、大阪ガスなどが出資する電力小売会社「エネット」(本社・東京都)と契約し、本庁舎や分庁舎などの電気を調達している。
(2011年7月1日16時13分 読売新聞)

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Japan, Politics, Translations

Tags: , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: