Tokyo Enacts Ordinance to Strengthen Passive Smoking Regulation

With the much anticipated 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic games, the Japanese government is preoccupied in adopting measures to ensure public safety as well as the smooth flow of events during the multi national sports game. One of the policies which the Organizing Committee of the Tokyo Olympics, in coordination with the government is planning to implement is the total ban on smoking.


As opposed to the upcoming Rugby World Cup which will be held in Japan starting September 20 this year, the Tokyo Olympics organizers are firm in their decision to maintain a smoke free environment for the Olympic games in order to comply with the global trend on anti-smoking.


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In this regard, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government enacted an ordinance to regulate passive smoking. One of the provisions of the said ordinance obliges restaurant and food shop owners to put signages in their establishments indicating whether indoor smoking is allowed or not.


To comply with the local ordinance, Kiyoaki Tezuki, a restaurant owner in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward puts a “No Smoking” sign at the entrance of his establishment. According to him, “the nonsmoking sign will help family customers feel free to visit our restaurant.”


Nonetheless, the ban on smoking only applies to lunch hours. Mr. Tezuki clarified that “banning smoking during dinner hours would weigh on our business.” He added that “I hope that the ordinance will help spur moves to create culture where people can enjoy meals without smoking.”


On April 2020, the local government aims to fully implement the new smoking regulation that will absolutely ban smoking inside restaurants. The ordinance also prohibits smoking within the premises of nurseries and kindergartens as well as in elementary, junior high and high school buildings. Outdoor smoking spaces at those places are likewise prohibited. Certain penalties will be imposed in case of violation of said ordinance.


Reference: With new ordinance, Tokyo restaurants must show patrons if smoking is allowed or not


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