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Tokyo to consider public smoking restrictions in preparation for 2020 Olympics

39 Comments

The Tokyo metropolitan government has set up a special committee to discuss dealing with second-hand smoking in public in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Just as Beijing and London did when they hosted the Olympics, Tokyo is considering smoking bans in public areas and restaurants, as well as establishing separate areas for individuals to smoke in.

In August, Tokyo Gov Yoichi Masuzoe said the effects of second-hand smoking on people's health was a major issue.

The committee is expected to present proposals on the issue by next March.

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39 Comments
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Will these bans be in effect the day after the Olympics end or will they magically disappear with the tourists?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Gaiyatsu leading the way in Japanese policies yet again.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Why does it have to be done for the olympics? Join the rest of the modern world and just bloody well do it! And, it should be a countrywide ban! Not just Tokyo!

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Why bother. The smokers will just ignore them like they do the current ones!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

" a special committee" "The committee is expected to present proposals on the issue by next March"

What a waste of tax money! They need a committee just for this??? And it will take them 6 months to think about it? I can't imagine the time and money it will take them to make the important decisions..

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Do it please!!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Tokyo is considering smoking bans in public areas and restaurants, as well as establishing separate areas for individuals to smoke in.

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Visitors Tp Olympic from the countries and places where such smoling bans are already enforced will appreciate and visit tp spend money in Tokyo.

Committee is better than a dictator enforce this rule as J is a democrattic country and money is not wasted as it is their job to decide. J hasn't allocated money to comittee. Mo money wasted. During Olympic, your dinner in restaurants will nobe be flavored with Cigar smokes. On the stand, wind will not blow cheap tabacco smoke to your pop corns and ice cream.i

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hey, maybe they'll make the yakitori joint in my neighborhood smoke-free ( except for the yakitori smoke ) so I can eat there.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Can't believe the Olympics are being held in August. Why not in October? Second hand smoke will be worse in August to go with the heat and humidity of that time period.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just get on with it and ban it in restaurants and bars...Its 2014..

We know it effects the smokers, workers, families of the smokers etc etc..its bizarre that its allowed except in very restricted circumstances to allow individuals to have their freedom, while respecting others.

And its just disgusting and has ruined my night more than once... sitting down in a nice restaurant enjoying good food to then have someone sit in the next table and chain smoke a whole pack of cigarettes...

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Hey, maybe they'll make the bar around the corner smoke-free so I can go in there and have a drink.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

...as J is a democrattic country...

Hahaaa...

Would have been better if Japan had someone in charge of these things who would put his/her foot down and explain to people that what is best for the public is what will be done. Japnese smokers (of which a majority seem to be men) still have that look on their faces like "Look at me, I'm the Marlboro man!". It's like they're stuck in time, not understanding that educated people nowdays don't smoke.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The fact that non-smokers are by now the majority seems to have no sway on law-makers. A declining minority of smokers still has the power to affect people's health and enjoyment in many public areas. Is it because of the government's majority share in JT that they prioritize tax revenue over the public's health? Tell me it ain't so! Just bite the bullet and make all public places in Japan (not just Tokyo) smoke-free !

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There are some wonderful restaurants in my town, but I cannot go to them ever again. They stink.

Ban public smoking please.

9 ( +10 / -2 )

Excellent opportunity, seize on it!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In short, it's likely that smoking will be banned in every public space in Tokyo--with the possible exception of bars that serve only alcoholic beverages--by the 2020 Olympics.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Most of the restaurants I see in japan are smoke free, not to mention all the department, malls, dining areas. I seriously don't understand what are you people talking about. If you go to a 2x2 yakitori in a small alley that its there more than 100 years and its not smoke free, then just don't go there again if you don't like it.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

The worst is planning your well deserved vacation. Accommodation booked and when you get there the first thing you can notice is the stink of cigarettes in the air. Enter your room and the smell is even worse. The same when you go to a love hotel to spend time with that special someone. It ruins a huge part of the experience. Extremely inconsiderate to us non smokers.

Ban it indoors everywhere in Japan and not just for a month.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"discuss dealing with second-hand smoking in public ",

Implement and enforce a law against smoking in public. Include a heavy stiff fine and not limited to punitive damages. Include the no smoking bans in public in areas such as doorways, entryways as most smokers tend to not smoke in a building but smoke right outside the front doors of hotels, restaurants that only defeats the purpose of a no smoking ban as most smokers only think its implemented due to fire hazards. If no adequate ventilation where second hand smoke can be smelled or inhaled by passerby's then its a public place. Going around to the side of the building where an open window or duct filters the smoke inside the facility defeats the purpose. Provide and empower the police with adequate training and funding to implement and enforce a no smoking ban. Empower the people to use smart technology as a means to help police use as proof/evidence of people breaking the law smoking in banned areas. I'm sure many people run across the bicyclists, walkers just puffing away or you're at a park and enjoying what fresh are you can grasp in any Tokyo park and then its ruined by the stench of tobacco.

Why wait for the Olympics, no reason. Already tourism is on the rise. I was in Minami-Senju over the weekend and the stench of tobacco is just about everywhere, including areas where no smoking while walking, no smoking signs, hotels where guys are just puffing away, in front of train stations, it was the worst, in fact a group of young adults were told by a fast food eatery that bans tobacco but as soon as the staff walked away the lit right back up. NO FINES or STIFF FINES, can't say there's no police to stop them anyway. 6.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Here's a great opportunity for Japan to show that they are ahead of the curve. Instead of following the herd (slowly, as they do here), they have the chance to set a high standard. Ban smoking in all public places. Raise taxes on tobacco to ridiculous levels and you shall see result. But, since Japan has lost the edge a long time ago, they are too scared to be bold. Would be cool if it happened, though.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

seems like most of you non-smokers are just selfish oppressing idiotss if I owe a place, serve food or what ever in it and want to smoke in there its my bloody choice and if you dont like it - dont come!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Sinestro

You have not been here. Really not been here I mean. Silly remarks.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Committee is better than a dictator enforce this rule as J is a democrattic country and money is not wasted as it is their job to decide.

Japan a democracy, you are kidding right?

How can you possibly argue this and that this committee is useful and not a waste of public money when in the same time the Japanese government (read law makers and bureaucrats) owns a significant amount of share at Japan Tabacco?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yes, ban public smoking all over Japan forever. It is simple. No committee needed.

Think of how much cleaner Japan will be.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I hope it will be employed as soon as possible. And it would be best if it stay like it forever. We know how harmful smoking is in our lives and we can't lose any love one because of it. If there's no smoking, more likely, the number of hospitalization will be minimized, resulting to less expenses in surgeries and other treatments. And it will also make Japan cleaner and better.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If you're going to ban something, it does no good unless there's enforcement and consequences.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Apparently, being a smoke free city is a requirement for hosting the Olympics. So Tokyo isn't really doing this on its own or to save lives. Also, as pointed out above, the government owns 50% of JT, the world's third largest tobacco company. Isn't it odd that a country would profit from something known to cause cancer?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This gaiatsu stuff really has to stop, lol.

-5 ( +0 / -4 )

Once new regulation is enacted, Japanese Govt forgets repealing. Example is Dance ban. It just repealed recently, It was law since 1946. And many more.

smoke ban will continue even after summer Olymoixc

1 ( +1 / -0 )

About time. I wish Japanese people (70% non-smokers now) would have put pressure on them sooner, but if this "gaiatsu" is what it takes, so be it! Personally I just would like to see at the minimum a true non-smoking section in every restaurant--not just some tables huddled in the corner of a smokey room labelled "non-smoking."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In Japan it seems that smokers have more rights than non-smokers. I was recently on a business trip and couldn't make the last Shinkansen so I opted to stay at a Toyoko-Inn. I am a non-smoker so I chose a non-smoking room on a non-smoking floor. When I checked in everything was fine but when I came back 45 minutes later after grabbing something to eat I nearly choked to death on the cigarette smoke in the hallway as the elevator door opened on my NON-smoking floor.

Calling the front desk was a complete waste of time as they said they couldn't do anything. WTF?!?

I went down to the lobby and asked one of the front desk girls to come up to the floor and see for them selves. They said there would be nothing they could do. I said okay then, I'll just find out which room it is and bang on their door asking them to stop. NO, NO, NO, you can do that! Then you do it I told them but the smoking has to stop NOW!

They went up to my floor and claimed they couldn't smell it but it was clearly there and another person on that floor coming off the elevator also noticed it while we were checking for which room it was. We found the room and I asked her to knock on the door and tell them to stop. She said it was late and they could be sleeping. Stupid logic that, one could be smoking and sleeping at the same time, also a tad dangerous, no?

The front counter girlwent back downstairs to the lobby and said again there was nothing she could do so I ask to be moved to another non-smoking floor. She said there were no more rooms left. Then I said move the smokers to a smoking room then. She said there were no more rooms left in the whole hotel. She wouldn't do anything so I said I was going to go knock on their door and ask them to stop smoking and she again was more worried about their enjoyment while breaking the rules than mine.

Finally, after almost a half hour she finally calls the room and guess what the lying smokers say? Oh, no they aren't smoking at all. Yet when we went back up stairs the smoke had stopped coming out from their door frame and you could feel the rush of cold air because they had opened a window in their room. About an hour later the cigarette smoke started pouring into the hall and my room across the hall again. Toyoko-Inn did nothing about it and they couldn't care less. Calling to complain about this at their head office was another waste of time. They said they would investigate and call me back but after weeks nothing.

Making up rules in Japan is pointless if they are worried it may hurt the criminals' feelings or enjoy of their crimes so what's the point?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Actually, if it weren't for gaiatsu, we still might not be able to buy discount airline tickets, much less have most office area smoke-free now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@SerranoNOV. 03, 2014 - 09:15PM JST Actually, if it weren't for gaiatsu, we still might not be able to buy discount airline tickets, much less have most office area smoke-free now.

........................................................................

Read back the above article. Nothing about airline ticket and this is about only piblic smoking. Nothing to do with office.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Smokers are selfish addicted losers who pollute the air around them to get their fix. No one has the right to cause cancer in others, especially kids who are nearby. All kids in Japan have trace elements of tobacco poison in their blood via second hand smoke. All kids, not just kids who live with smokers. That is what smokers in this country are doing to our youth here in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hopefully this means Tokyo's cafes will soon stop reserving their best tables to smokers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Message to the International Olympic Committee: When deciding future venues for the Games, why not insist that the host country/city guarantee a safe, smoke-free environment for athletes and spectators? Forget about steroids. Focus on the drug that causes the greatest amount of harm. For the Tokyo Olympics, though, it might be more appropriate just to add a smoke ring to the logo.

The reluctance of the Japanese government to take effective action on smoking is strange, given that smokers have never been in the majority in Japan if you take women and children into account. Today even among men the smoking rate is below 40% and falling. It just seems like smokers are in the majority because one selfish, filthy nicotine addict can harm and inconvenience dozens of people at once.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You know, all that public employees need to somehow justify their salaries. So just make a committee to study an issue totally unrelated to the Olympics, and studied in parallel by perhaps 20 other similar committees, give them one year to just think about it, and let them drag their feet. Give the same problem to ANY multinational private company, they will come with an excellent answer within the month, with most of the work done by an intern or two...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just DO IT. ASAP please!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Culturally, the free market doesn't work well here on this issue for smoking in restaurants and cafes. Japanese people (non-smokers in this case) feel they shouldn't say anything to "offend" the smoker when they light up. The smokers are mostly an addicted bunch, so they light up without consideration, thinking that non-smokers not saying anything give them a green light to smoke. Japanese people also hesitate to tell restaurants that they don't want to go if it is smoky, and may leave without saying the reason. The restaurants may be losing "hidden business" because of "overcatering" to smokers. What is it, over 70% of people are non-smokers now?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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