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Japan energy crisis

Japan energy crisis

there are some influential countries among them today we will discuss about how japan saved from an economic crisis.

From a global standpoint, if you look at Japan as a country

they are not the richest country in the world,

they don’t have humongous territories. In fact,

Japan is literally at the epicentre of natural catastrophe.

But every time they are faced with crisis they somehow find

an amazing way to solve it

and within no time Japan is always back on track.

In fact, time and again it has set a benchmark

for other countries to get inspired from

on how to tackle a national crisis.

And one of the most mind-blowing case studies that Japan

gave to the world

was on how to tackle the energy crisis.

In 2005, the government of Japan realised

that they were exteremely vulnerable to energy crisis.

For those of you who do not know

energy crisis is caused when a country consumes way more

energy than it could produce.

This shortage of energy results into blackout,

shutdown of industries

and in general, when energy crisis happens in a country

it is considered to be the beginning of an economic


And in 2005, Japan, inspite of being such a small country

it was the fourth largest consumer of electricity in the


And what was more scary was the fact that

80% of that entire energy was coming from outside the

country, as in

they were heavily dependent on other countries for producing


Now, on the outside it might not look like a big deal

but if you look at it from the international standpoint

it makes Japan extremely vulnerable to 3 major global


Number one

the country that supplies electricity to Japan

can literally exploit it’s economy by imposing trade tarrifs

and Japan would have no other option other than to agree to


Eventually, a country could systematically

loot Japan using the leverage of energy crisis.

Number two,

every big corporation will think twice before setting up

their factory in Japan

because tomorrow if Japan picks up a fight with a country

within no time it could be in an energy crisis,

industries would fall short of power and eventually, it

would cost them billions of dollars.

And third and most importantly, in case of a war situation

Japan could be conquered like this (snaps) merely by cutting

off their energy supply.

And as the famous saying goes

if you blind a soldier for a single second in the middle of

a fight, he dies

but if you blind a country for 24 hours, the loss of life is


So, Japan had to do something to fix this problem and for

this kind of a big move

it needed the cooperation of it’s citizens

Now, people if you take a step back

and look at the energy saving strategies deployed by most of

the countries all across the world.

You’ll see that the strategy itself costs them a billlion


Number two, inspite of appealing a lot to it’s citizens

citizens hardly seem to care about the energy conservation

of the country.

And lastly, it takes a minimum of 1-5 years

to even understand if the strategy is working or not.

But you know what ?

Japan used a marketing strategy because of which

they were able to save 700,000 metric tonnes of carbon

which is equal to 1.5 lakh cars taken off road.

And they were able to do this in just 150 days

without spending a dollar !

In fact, they technically profited by $1B

merely because of this campaign.

The question is- What exactly is this strategy and what was

so special about it

that Japan was able to achieve this incredible feat.

As it turns out, after doing a detailed market research

the Japanese government understood

that a major chunk of this energy was being consumed by the

air conditioning in the corporate offices

wherein they observed

that due to the strict dressing culture of Japan

every single corporate employee wore double layered formal

clothing even during summer.

And because of this the temperature of the ACs had tobe kept

at a lower level.

And since this happened all throughout the country,

the cumulative energy consumption only due to ACs was very


So they came out with something called the Cool Biz campaign


the ministry of environmental affairs requested all the

business corporations

to get their employees to wear summer casual clothes to


And this was done so that

they can increase the temperature of the ACs from 26 degrees

to 28 degrees.

from June to October.

And they invested heavily to promote the idea in the coolest

possible manner

because Japan understood that this idea doesn’t just have to

be conveyed to the citizens

it needs to be marketed to them.

So the government of Japan organised a fasion show

wherein dozens of CEOs and other senior executives got


And even the Prime Minister himself was featured on

newspapers and T.V. stories

without wearing a tie and in a short-sleeved shirt.

And soon enough, businesses all across the country signed up

for the campaign

and it gave rise to a fashion wave altogether.

And you know what ?

The cherry on the cake was that the clothing companies saw

this as a perfect business opportunity

and they launched an exclusive line of Cool Biz clothing.

The barbers began to give out Cool Biz haircuts and the

entire business ecosystem

came together to participate in the Cool Biz campaign.

And that is how ladies and gentlemen, in just 30 days

Japan was able to re-engineer the idea of formal attire.

180 days later when the results came out

Japan proudly announced to the world

that it had successfully turned an economic threat into an

economic opportunity

wherein the GDP of the country benefitted by a 100 billion


Fast forward to today, Cool Biz campaign is being followed

since 15 years

and every single year they keep improving and they keep

saving more energy.

Now, the by-product of this campaign was that

because all the citizens conserved electricity in their


they automatically began to use energy judiciously even in

their houses.

Now there are 3 very very important lessons that we need to

learn from this case study.

Number one,

the power of storytelling and marketing doesn’t just have to

be restricted to selling products and services

they can further be extended, even to save a country from a

potential crisis.

Number two, not every complex problem needs a technological


In this case if you see

Japan did not use it’s super amazing technology

inspite of being a pioneer in the technological world.

In fact, they used a human centred solution.

which tells us a lot about

how we can leverage behavioural design

to solve global issues like climate change and global

warming also.

And last and most importantly,

we all need to understand that shouting slogans and

spreading awareness, alone

cannot inspire a change, unless it creates a business


where the economy and society both can benefit together.

In this case if you see

the Cool Biz campaign did not see a single protester on the


shouting about the energy crisis.

But because there was a business incentive for the clothing


it led to a snowball effect wherein instead of the

government alone

the business organisations also participated in the movement

to bring about a revolutionary change.

And this is what teaches us a very very important lesson

that if we want to inspire a change

we have to create business opportunities to incentivize the


And when done right

it will automatically and effortlessly spark a revolution.

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