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Japan likely to tolerate smoking at restaurants after LDP's resistance

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Japan ALMOST CERTAIN to tolerate smoking at restaurants after LDP's resistance.

This is clear, in your face, money over people right here. Hopefully the opposition can point that out clearly, as it would be an easy debate to win.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

a tougher smoking ban would deal a serious blow to their businesses.

Wow! Japan really is an island! A quick check on Google will reveal this statement to be totally incorrect. When smoking waa banned in all restaurants and bars in Australia there were a few businesses that suffered a drop in customers, which only lasted three months or so. However, many restaurants gained customers. I think this is just a convenient excuse to cover up the real reason they won't ban smoking in restaurants - ¥¥¥¥

19 ( +27 / -8 )

What they said

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

LDP does not care for the health of the people. Money and taxes since they run JT

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Japan needs a new untethered opposition to kick ldp to the curb. One can dream!!

12 ( +17 / -5 )

The LDP, some of whose members have strong ties with tobacco and restaurant industries,

as an estimated 15,000 people die annually in Japan from secondhand smoke.

So the LDP has ties to an industry that kills 15000 people a year? Shouldn't the LDP be designated as a terrorist organization? Shouldn't we be putting politicians who have ties to JT in jail? They're killing 15000 people a year for Pete's sake.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

In Japan , tax on cigarettes is at 65% and on beer at 50%. Both are hazardous to health and people's life. Make the tax rate same on tobacco and alcohols.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

It is crystal clear that this is a deal between politics and tobacco companies. At what level does it become corruption ?

20 ( +22 / -2 )

LDP = Legal Drugs Party (alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, gambling).It's all about taxes and profits, nothing to do with the welfare of the people.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Phew; the health fascists haven't won yet!

However, I tend not to smoke in the restaurants as it's not fair to those trying to enjoy their food.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

an estimated 15,000 people die annually in Japan from secondhand smoke.

No evidence.

-22 ( +8 / -30 )

If the IOC had some balls and was not the corrupt organisation it has been shown to be it would pull the Olympics from Tokyo on health grounds and not complying with the Olympic Ideal.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Japan's health ministry has drastically relaxed its planned regulations on indoor smoking at restaurants

Wow and that before the Olympics? Didn't expect that. I'm starting to really dislike this shouganai culture, where is the opposition?

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Sigh. This is so frustrating and disappointing.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Bloody corrupt LDP oyaji dinosaurs. This is the crap we get for sheeple giving them a landslide carte blanche.

The LDP, some of whose members have strong ties with tobacco and restaurant industries, has argued that smoking should be permitted at restaurants with a floor space of up to 150 square meters, saying a tougher smoking ban would deal a serious blow to their businesses.

Same tired arguments used by the politicians ,with tobacco company brown envelopes in their pockets , in every country where smoking ban was passed. Scaremongering that never eventuated , in a lot of places restaurant business went up after the ban was introduced ( plenty of evidence if oyajis had the will to Google it )

9 ( +12 / -3 )

tinawatanabe: "No evidence"

Utter hogwash. But smokers and fans of it often chant this mantra while coughing their lungs out in a cancer ward, so it's not like they'll ever face facts.

Anyway, another step back for Japan -- the world's third-world first-world country.

13 ( +23 / -10 )

"Screw peoples health and well being, it's all about OUR personal business interests." The LDP.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

No evidence.

Oh, there's absolutely no doubt that people die from smoking, I've lost friends to it. And yet, I still smoke.

But not in the living spaces - and if in the alehouse, in the smoking area.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I remember in New Zealand when they brought in no smoking laws, they did it really well. Rather than target restaurants or bars, they said no smoking in work places . Of course there are some people who work in restaurants and bars so you couldn't (and still can't) smoke in those establishments and because of that the bars didn't really have a chance to complain.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

tinawatanabe: "No evidence"

Utter hogwash.

Amen

But smokers and fans of it often chant this mantra while coughing their lungs out in a cancer ward, so it's not like they'll ever face facts.

Yep

Anyway, another step back for Japan -- the world's third-world first-world country.

I wouldn't call Japan a first world country at all.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

Japanese culture of smoking can be changed without a law.

When Starbucks was assessing Japan as a market, two rather big trading firms made proposals that included "necessitated" the "darkening of lights," "no to-go cups," and "completely smoking interiors with a few seats for non-smokers." The quote as I remember was "Japanese culture requires a coffee shop to allow smoking or face bankruptcy ." Starbucks let the consultants go and partnered with Afternoon Tea (a 50-50 venture). The owner of Afternoon Tea had restaurants in LA and knew that completely non-smoking coffee shops would be wildly popular.

Forward to today. Virtually every coffee shop, with a major exception of "Colorado Coffee," is non-smoking. Even Tully's had to completely shut smokers in a separate room due to pressure.

So the best way to solve this problem is for forward-looking companies to start the trend.

Customers too, should be willing to walk out in the middle of a dinner if someone lights up. The manager should be made aware that customers are walking out because of smoking. I hope most if not all of the visitors to the Olympics will just get up and leave a smoking establishment, or when "non-smoking" consists of four tables surrounded by smokers. It won't take restaurant owners long to get the message. Will it work? The most profitable and highest grossing Starbucks stores are in Japan.

Even if a law were passed, there would be so many exceptions and lack of penalties that it would be a joke anyway. I would prefer someone with a profit motive such as Starbucks/Afternoon Tea kick out smokers and make non-smoking restaurants and buildings a reality.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

allowing smoking at restaurants with a floor space of up to 150 square meters.

Which must be over 90% of restaurants in Japan. So the measures are effectively meaningless.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Love eating out. Hate food tainted with smoke. Hate stinging eyes. Hate people coughing over my dinner. Hate having to wash my clothes and hair, just because I wanted to eat out. Hate knowing my health will be effected by other people. Hate waiting in hospitals because so many sick smokers. Hate no credible opposition party.

that is one “love” and seven “hates”.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Anyway, another step back for Japan -- the world's third-world first-world country.

You could always move to a country that fits your requirements instead of constantly complaining and moaning about the country YOU decided to live it.

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

I honestly thought the fear of being embarrassed in 2020 might have outweighed the vested interests and backhanders.

Clearly losing face ain't got nothing on losing cash. Most of these dinosaurs have already got one foot in the grave anyway.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

just a user - my family here (Japanese) and many friends(Japanese) also complain & moan about smoking in restaurants etc.  They want to live here - in a smoke free environment.

Speaking against smoking is not a cultural issue - it's a human rights issue - the right to not be exposed to toxins esp while eating.

19 ( +24 / -5 )

Hate knowing my health will be effected by other people.

Affected.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

i own a restaurant and WANT THE BAN. pathetic, money over people, - simple could be the ldp "honne" slogan.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

just a user - my family here (Japanese) and many friends(Japanese) also complain & moan about smoking in restaurants etc. They want to live here - in a smoke free environment.

Not referring to you, not about you.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

It's about time NHK had a programme called "Backwards Japan", highlighting issues where Japan is behind the rest of the developed world. Smoking in restaurants and bars could be one item.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

This is an improvement no matter how you slice it. There will be fewer restaurants that allow smoking. Let the fight continue. Japan, don't let your future go up in smoke.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

So the new rule is, no smoking except if you want to smoke. Wonderful.

Unless the law changes, I agree it is risky for individual restaurants etc to ban smoking as they could lose business. Some places take that risk, but many cannot. Banning smoking by law takes the decision out of the hands of the restaurants and eliminates the 'arbitrage' effect of no-smoking places losing business to those that allow smoking.

Certainly the government should sell its remaining stake in JT, but I don't think this is mostly about money, to be honest. I think it's because most of the LDP lawmakers themselves smoke, and they haven't bothered to think about the real impact on the restaurant industry as I have mentioned here. Certainly a smoking ban is negative for tobacco companies, but they are in a long-term downward trend. JT investing aggressively in Russia and elsewhere is aimed at compensating for a shrinking home market. JT can take care of itself.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Seriously, what did people expect? Look at ANY sign that says "no smoking" in Japan and you'll likely find cigarette butts underneat, if not people gathered around it and smoking. How many photos have we seen like that as "Picture of the Day" on this site alone?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I couldn't care less. I tend to avoid restaurants with smoke inside, and the last relative who smoked gave it up a few years back. We're all grown adults and we know smoking is bad for the health, whether we admit it in public or not. So please, carry on smoking - no skin off my back. Just please pay for your own medication when the time comes.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Charles Noguhi said -

Customers too, should be willing to walk out in the middle of a dinner if someone lights up. The manager should be made aware that customers are walking out because of smoking. I hope most if not all of the visitors to the Olympics will just get up and leave a smoking establishment, or when "non-smoking" consists of four tables surrounded by smokers. It won't take restaurant owners long to get the message. Will it work? The most profitable and highest grossing Starbucks stores are in Japan.

I do exactly that, before we are shown to our table, I ask if the restaurant is non-smoking. We will only eat there if it is a completely non-smoking restaurant, smoking rooms don't count towards being a completely non-smoking restaurant as that air always comes out from the room with the movement of staff and patrons entering and exiting nor do places that have smoking floors that are open to the other floors. I am very much allergic to cigarette smoke which leaves me wheezing.

Just this week we were in Yokohama in a restaurant in Chinatown that claimed they were a non-smoking restaurant when we asked before being shown to our table on the second floor. Just after all the dishes we ordered had arrived at the table and we had maybe had two or three bites, we were overcome by cigarette smoke. I looked around to see who the idiots were that were smoking in this non-smoking restaurant to find that no one seated at any table was smoking. I turned around and noticed three older 'business types' having a smoke standing around the elevator foyer which was wide open to the seated patrons and was part of the restaurant building. I asked why they were not being told to go outside as this was a non-smoking restaurant. The answer was that they were not actually seated at a table so they were not actually in the restaurant. This building was the restaurant, they owned ever floor so how could it not be in the restaurant? The waiter asked us if we wanted to move to another table. "How about you tell them to leave or we will" was my reply. The waiter said he couldn't ask them to leave because they were customers to which I said "what are we then?" "You inconvenience us because we are following the non-smoking rules by asking us to move instead of telling the rule breakers to move". His reply was that all restaurants in Chinatown are like this. I asked those at my table if they had a problem with me leaving because of the cigarette smoke and I was told no as everyone got up and we all walked down the stairs to the front desk to tell the manager to bill himself for our table for allowing the smokers to smoke in his non-smoking restaurant. The manager said no, we have to pay to which we said no and if he had a problem he could follow us across the street to the police station to where we were heading now. He took the bill and placed it in a drawer and said nothing so we walked across the street to the police station.

We later found out from a couple of police officers at that station that it was quite a common problem with those Chinese restaurants 'bending' the rules to allow people to smoke as long as they were not seated at their tables. The police officers said as they shrugged their shoulders that there was not much that could be done to enforce the non-smoking laws because technically the smokers were not in the eating area and so the restaurant was still complying with the law. The cops didn't agree with those skirting the law and had no problem when we told them that had we walked out without paying because they broke the rules. One cop said that is about the only way that they will ever feel any loss of income as the local government is in the pockets of Japan Tobacco.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

quercetum - the improvement is so incremental as to be meaningless, see my above comment.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No evidence

This is an article not a research paper. Are you looking for footnotes and a bibliography? The Health Ministry's study group 厚生労働省の研究班 conducted the research last year.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Customers too, should be willing to walk out in the middle of a dinner if someone lights up. The manager should be made aware that customers are walking out because of smoking.

I've done that more than once. Simply, a business that does not provide a clean, safe and pleasant environment for employees and customers is a business that does not deserve my patronage; they are not offering me what I am there to buy..

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Both are hazardous to health and people's life. Make the tax rate same on tobacco and alcohols. wrong again, has been medically proven that alcohol in small quantities isnt bad for your health and can be beneficial, smoking is bad for your health and those around you in any quantity.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

You could always move to a country that fits your requirements instead of constantly complaining and moaning about the country YOU decided to live it. ah the same "dont like it go home" excuse, no we want to live in a country that protects the health of the majority ahead of a minority that are causing the health risks.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Most of these dinosaurs have already got one foot in the grave anyway.

Who, us smokers or the LDP?

Oh well, whatever, nevermind. I'm going to hell with the lid off, baby.

After I just have one last cigarette...

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

let the market/pocketbooks decide. i think many restuarants in and around tokyo will go smokefree on their own volition before the olympics in order to attract more customers. and secondly, local gov'ts can also make laws to ban smoking in restaurants, which koike is/was trying to do. either way, there are ways around a national non smoking ban.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

ah the same "dont like it go home" excuse, no we want to live in a country that protects the health of the majority ahead of a minority that are causing the health risks.

Yes, some people deserve to have it said to them - including you. You "want to live live in a country that protects the health of the majority", then go and do that if you truly believe what you are saying. We won't miss you.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Telling people to go home if there's certain elements they disagree with about their host country is akin to shutting down debate.

We all love this country, right?

But there's always going to be the occasional thing that we disagree with or can't get our heads around the concept of.

You may appreciate the leniency towards smokers or you may not.

But you shouldn't be told to leave.

Otherwise, you might as well not get involved in any debate anymore as there's always going to be differences of opinion.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Telling people to go home if there's certain elements they disagree with about their host country is akin to shutting down debate.

The people I am thinking of do not debate. We don't need wikipedia because they know everything.

We all love this country, right?

No and that's my point. Certain people on here despise it here more than most (sometimes you can tell just by their login names), complain about everything and continue to stay when they don't have to. Those people will always attract such invitations from me.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

The Health Ministry's study group 厚生労働省の研究班 conducted the research last year.

Does it say  "an estimated 15,000 people die annually in Japan from secondhand smoke."?

Oh, there's absolutely no doubt that people die from smoking, I've lost friends to it. And yet, I still smoke.

I don't smoke, and I'm talking about secondhand smoke.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Just pathetic - grow a pair Japan and just ban smoking in all public spaces!

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Maybe somebody in the government is anticipating a Kim Jung Un visit soon?

But it seems even Dear Leader have already quit smoking!

Only the government of Abe is ignorant about the dangers of smoking and really doesn't care about the health of their citizens.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It' s funny to see all the non smokers complaining. They think that if something they don' t like it' s necessarily bad and it has to be forbidden. They don' t know the meaning of democracy that allow space also for minority. A big question: why they don' t go to non smoking establishments ?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Of course, everybody knows that the only reason that the LDP would vote

this is because the tobacco companies are lining their pockets.  They don't care

about the people, they only care about their own pockets.

Why aren't the names of those that voted it down announced.  Let's vote them out

and investigate their bank accounts and savings.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Hopefully the IOC will show some balls & simply say:

Smoking Allowed = NO OLYMPICS 2020!

THAT I would love to see..............

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Does it say "an estimated 15,000 people die annually in Japan from secondhand smoke."?

Can you read Japanese? It says, “日本では受動喫煙が原因で年間1万5千人が死亡

In English this is “15,000 people die annually in Japan from secondhand smoke.”

via Japanese government’s Ministry of Health Labor Welfare

http://www.mhlw.go.jp/file/06-Seisakujouhou-10900000-Kenkoukyoku/0000130674.pdf

9 ( +9 / -0 )

KnowBetter, congratulations and well done, pity a lot more people at the tables arround you didn't follow your example.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

quercetum, thank you for the link but don't trust those estimates. 

In Japan the number of  smokers are rapidly dropping, but lung cancer case is rapidly increasing.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

quercetum - good link.

And the chances of our esteemed poster Ms Tina reading this are slight, but any extra info in getting the simple message across is to be welcomed.

Unfortunately in Japan the Health Ministry takes a back, back seat to the Finance ministry (Aso Inc) and the logothetes who congregate.

Meaning the citizens are lesser beings and must / will suffer.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Disgusting.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Smoking is fine, so long as it does not interfere with my enjoyment of the Food. Should that happen, then if the restaurant does not wish to take action, I should have the legal right to not Pay for the meal. Were this to be actioned in Law, then I guess, it will be up to the restaurant owners to decide how best to resolve the matter.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Of course, everybody knows that the only reason that the LDP would vote

this is because the tobacco companies are lining their pockets. They don't care

about the people, they only care about their own pockets.

For the life of me, I just can't understand the allure of it all. The smell, the taste, the horrible possible side-affects that come with smoking. I usually will avoid any establishment that allows smoking and if someone sits next to me while I'm eating or drinking and lights up....

Let's just say within 5 min. they put it out

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

tinawatanabe: "In Japan the number of  smokers are rapidly dropping, but lung cancer case is rapidly increasing."

So, don't trust the estimates given to you by quercetum, which are based on facts, but we should trust you simply saying, "the number of smokers is going down but lung cancer increasing." Where are YOUR stats to back that up? and also do you actually think that even if that's true people who quit smoking today won't develop lung cancer and/or other diseases as a result of their smoking previously? or that they will die the day they quit? Do you think if someone dies of liver failure a year after they quit drinking it had nothing to do with them drinking before they quit?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

bass4funk: "Let's just say within 5 min. they put it out"

Utter BS. Unless you are threatening them and committing a crime, in which case you should hardly be proud of yourself for creating the worse of the two evils.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

 then go and do that if you truly believe what you are saying. We won't miss you. and once again the "dont like it go home" excuse, pathetic really since they dont really have any logical excuse to justify their reasoning. what you should be asking your self is how in a modern democracy a minority group bad habbit is still allowed to effect the health of the majority of its citizens to the effect of 15,000 deaths each year!. recalcitrant fools will always demand their rights be upheld even if it results in the deaths of others.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

-Thank You for Smoking-

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Utter BS. Unless you are threatening them and committing a crime, in which case you should hardly be proud of yourself for creating the worse of the two evils.

If you think so, but I don't bother smokers, if they want to ruin their bodies, not my concern, however, if I am sitting in a restaurant and EATING and someone sits nexts to me and lights up a cigarette, I will ask them to put it out and so far, I never had a problem with them doing that. I also have the right to enjoy my life and food.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

then go and do that if you truly believe what you are saying. We won't miss you. and once again the "dont like it go home" excuse, pathetic really since they dont really have any logical excuse to justify their reasoning.

The logic is quite obvious:

If you truly believe that you are NOT able to "live in a country that protects the health of the majority ahead of a minority that are causing the health risks. then don't stay.

Even for you this should be simple to understand.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

If you truly believe that you are NOT able to "live in a country that protects the health of the majority ahead of a minority that are causing the health risks. then don't stay. my home country was in a similar situation a couple decades ago and through common sense they changed the laws TO SAVE LIVES. Its not about taking a smokers rights away but about reducing the deaths from passive smoking, even for people like this should be simple to understand. for foreigners like me that have family/business in Japan its not as easy as "dont like it go home" pathetic excuses where accustomed to .

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Money before public health, absolutely disgusting.

Smokers are the minority, I doubt if they are obliged to go outside for a smoke it will kill the restaurant trade. Countries where smoking indoors in banned have thriving restaurants.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Even for you this should be simple to understand. whats simple is why passive smoking laws are introduced. Its about making a safe working and leisure environment for the non smoking public and to prevent people dying from lung cancer through no fault of their own. some people want to use the anti-smoking movement as a some sort of attack on their right/culture when its actually about SAVING LIVES. If people continue to die then passive smoking laws need to be introduce to protect these people, should be simple to understand for most, but not all.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I suppose it would take someone, who has contracted a cancer via passive smoking to take the government to court for allowing companies to expose their workers to second hand smoke.

It rather reminds me of the asbestos situation ,where the government, knew it was carcinogenic, allowed companies to continue using asbestos, because banning it would impact companies profits.

In the end people died from asbestosis, and sadly people will also die from passive smoking.

For a country that bans smoking outside a train station, for the sake of manners it makes me wonder, what kind of logic they use to allow smoking indoors where children, and families and workers are forced to breath in this shite.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

In the end people died from asbestos, and sadly people will also die from passive smoking. yes you can add to that mercury poisoning, the J gov is opening itself up to large lawsuits in the future, unfortunately itll take a large group lawsuits and payout before theyll actually take notice. Happened in many western countries will also happen in Japan eventually.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The Government of Japan receives tax monies from the tobacco industry. At the same time, the Government of Japan uses citizen's tax monies for tobacco-related health care, hospital care, loss of personal income, and death. And there are not enough doctors. Does this make sense?

Smoking is a personal decision, but do not let it affect society in general. If someone near me lights up, anywhere, I am of course affected, and incensed. Which of us is right?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I suppose it would take someone, who has contracted a cancer via passive smoking to take the government to court for allowing companies to expose their workers to second hand smoke.

And I'd rather that person be someone who campaigned for smoking in restaurants or someone who was part of the tobacco industry. I'd call that sweet justice.

For a country that bans smoking outside a train station, for the sake of manners it makes me wonder, what kind of logic they use to allow smoking indoors where children, and families and workers are forced to breath in this shite.

I suppose, as long as the adult smokes in a gentle and loving way in front of their children. then it should be ok.

To be honest, I have never met a single d@mn person who got burnt by flying ash. I have, on the other, known many who died from lung cancer due to smoking, including my grandmother, and a grandfather who snuffed it before I was even born.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In addition to the heath issues, I feel smoking is disrespectful to the chiefs. Smoke in the air alters the taste for me so we don’t really taste the authentic spices etc the chief. Any restaurant that respects the staff and customers will ban smoking themselves....we just need to embarrass more restaurants this way

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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