politics

LDP approves antismoking plan with many loopholes

94 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

94 Comments
Login to comment

I'm very sceptical about that figure released by the ministry suggesting that 55% of bars and restaurants have a floor space of less than 100m2. Apart from a handful of family restaurants, I can't think of any restaurants with more than 100m2 floor space in my neighbourhood - I'm sure the figure is much higher than 55%.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

This makes about as much sense as putting tits on a rocking horse.

Ban smoking in all eating establishments. Plain and simple

11 ( +17 / -6 )

it gave up after staunch opposition from the LDP, whose members have strong ties with tobacco and restaurant industries.

Pray tell just what industries here do NOT have strong ties to the LDP?

10 ( +14 / -4 )

So they passed a law they didn't want to pass and so full of holes one can drive through

Industry calls the shots not the public

6 ( +8 / -2 )

While the ministry had sought to introduce a total indoor smoking ban in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, it gave up after staunch opposition from the LDP, whose members have strong ties with tobacco and restaurant industries.

Please JT...run an article with the names and faces of these people. We need to know who they are and stop voting them into office, as they obviously don't have our interests at heart.

Only their own interests.

Shameful...wait until this becomes known outside of Japan. Not only will Japan be vilified but many folk who are now used to non smoking establishments might just consider not coming to the Olympics.

How would you like that IOC?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Disgusting, just plain disgusting, as a tax paying resident this is the one topic I sorely wish I had a voice on.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

NZ2011

Here here mate. I think we all feel the same bud.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

The anti smoking plan that basically allows smoking.

You either go whole hog and ban it everywhere (the smokers won’t quit drinking and eating and socializing entirely), or you go home.

The Japanese government has opted to introduce a pathetic compromise because none of them have balls, not a ball between them.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

NZ2011

Disgusting, just plain disgusting, as a tax paying resident this is the one topic I sorely wish I had a voice on.

As a non-citizen, you may decided to pack up and go home one day, so why allow you to voice your options? I agree smokers are vulgar people and they think it is fine to poison others with their disgusting habit, but unless you are a citizen, then you really have no rights to try and change any laws in Japan to suit you. If you wish to vote and have a say, then do as I did and become Japanese.

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

I would caution that many small owners were against the plan.

Any plan with loopholes risked certain operators losing smoking customers to other competitors.

I think this is the main reason for the ultimate massive ‘loopholes’, more than smoking industry pressure.

This is like drawing a big round circle with a pencil. The ‘loophole’ is the space inside the circle.

Japan is the home of compromises, and policy making is the last place you want them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

but unless you are a citizen, then you really have no rights to try and change any laws in Japan

No taxation without representation?

The politicians are obviously corrupt and nothing will change until the people change it. If they don't get up off their arse and do something then they have no one to blame but themselves.

It is about time the IOC acted to protect the worlds athletes and their supporters and withdraw the olympic games from Japan unless there is a total smoking ban. But as the IOC is one of the most corrupt organisations on the planet (makes the mafia look like a well meaning social group) fat chance of that happening.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Nobody loses any customers when smoking bans are brought in. They said the same in Scotland before the ban.

Now?

Everyone...even smokers, think it is a great thing to have happened.

You can enjoy your meal in a pleasant environment. Then, if you wish to smoke...go outside for some "fresh air"

7 ( +9 / -2 )

No taxation without representation?

That only applies to citizens of a country, not visitors.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

If the restaurants are clearly labeled as smoking establishments, then I don’t see the problem here. If you don’t like it, go to another restaurant, no one is forcing you to be with smokers.

A blanket ban is silly and am glad it won’t happen even though I’m not a smoker. Government should be liberalizing by unbanning things, not finding new things to blanket ban because a few people are uncomfortable or feeling bitter at society

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Classic, LDP introduce a Law full of Loopholes it's pretty much useless but they still get paid by us and apparently the tobacco industry too. Double dipping I'd like to do that but I've actually got morals that preclude such despicable two faced actions.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

People have and need luxuries in life and smoking is one of them. Others are alcohols, tea, coffee, etc. If they are all banned from health reasons, what our life will be? Health and values of life are two different things. It is a choice of people. Doctors care about health but life philosophy is decided by individuals.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

If the restaurants are clearly labeled as smoking establishments, then I don’t see the problem here. If you don’t like it, go to another restaurant, no one is forcing you to be with smokers.

You clearly don't see this is the problem.

Shunsuke is worried that his smoking customers will leave in droves to Daisuke's little smoke filled den.

If smoking is banned throughout then whoever makes the best/cheapest yakitori will win.

As it should be.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Where can we protest this and how.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I'll see you there papigiulio when we find out.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I really , really hope this gem gets picked up and run hard with by major foreign media before and during the Olympics because only the loss of face and embarrasement on a worl stage ( where Japan forever wants to play in the pit with the "advanced / developed " nations ) will force Shinzo to pull his underlings in line and introduce anything resembling a proper smoking ban instead of this ridiculous farce.

Call it what it is - a tobacco smoking ban rollback bill.

Pathetic, corrupt LDP dinosaurs.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

People have and need luxuries in life and smoking is one of them. Others are alcohols, tea, coffee, etc. If they are all banned from health reasons, what our life will be? Health and values of life are two different things. It is a choice of people. Doctors care about health but life philosophy is decided by individuals.

I tend to agree with you, but there's a difference between allowing people their little luxuries (and I'm not in favour of banning smoking) and allowing non-smokers to breathe clean air, which is the issue being discussed.

By the way, have you managed to stay off the cigarettes?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

cucashopboy

I stopped smoking. I do not or cannot drink and I am having a hard time to relax myself.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Still no ban on workplace smoking?! Unacceptable.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Schopenhauer - good on you! Hope you find another way to relax.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just had my morning smoke. Outside, of course.

Marvellous.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

People have and need luxuries in life and smoking is one of them. Others are alcohols, tea, coffee, etc. If they are all banned from health reasons, what our life will be? Health and values of life are two different things. It is a choice of people. Doctors care about health but life philosophy is decided by individuals.

C'mon dude...seriously? You can give a better argument than that. I've seen you!

My drinking tea, coffee or alcohol has no effect on your health. And they ain't likely to be banned either. (let's hope)

Whereas your smoking has an effect on everyone else within the vicinity.

Little luxuries they all are. While I'd state that alcohol is just as deadly as tobacco, it is socially more acceptable.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Laws with loopholes and with no teeth? Welcome to Japan. As long as they get the Olympics.

A long time ago maybe, but nowadays I have no sympathy for smokers who suffer the health affects. Any idiot today knows that smoking can be detrimental. And no, I don't want to hear about your 90 year old grandma who smokes two packets a day and is still seemingly healthy - she's the lucky minority - but I sure wouldn't want to play Russian roulette.

Yul Brynner must be spinning in his grave.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

No taxation without representation?

You work in Japan you pay tax, you want to vote in Japan then become a citizen. If you do not want to pay tax because you are not a citizen then go home. Unless you are a citizen, you have no say in the politics of Japan, whether you pay taxes or not.

Toasted Heretic

Just had my morning smoke. Outside, of course.

Marvellous.

The person in the mansion below us, use to smoke outside and their second hand smoke came in to our mansion, they no longer smoke out side after I poured a bucket of water over them ...

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Horse hockey. The reasons why smoking should be allowed have already been proven to be red herrings.

The only way to change the status quo is with your feet. No one will go bankrupt, and smoking will not decrease if there is a smoking ban. Smokimg will simply shift to different venues. The product and concept wins. The best example of this is Starbucks.

Starbucks was advised by ‘Japanese Marketing Professionals’ that they would go bankrupt if they didn’t allow smoking. So they jettisoned the ‘experts’ and now Japan is the biggest profit maker for Starbucks.

It’s not uncommon to see the typical salaryman just keep his cigarettes in his pocket when in Starbucks. The product and concept wins by market forces, not by regulation.

As proof of concept, most coffee chains have now followed suit and completely sealed off ‘chambers’ for smokers, and a few local shops here and there have been languishing with just a few customers who have to smoke inside.

Want to make Japan smoke-free? Give generously to non-smoking establishments, let them know you are there because they have a non-smoking policy.

Be sure to take a pic with the owner and manager, and post the pic to Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Expedia, and any other site you can find.

It’s not too difficult to change the situation with a little effort.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The most telling phrase in the whole article:

the LDP, whose members have strong ties with tobacco and restaurant industries.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

However, smoking will be permitted in restaurants and bars if they set up special rooms for exclusive use by smokers where no food or drink will be served.

So we are talking about enclosed smoking rooms where the smokers can go, puff and then come back to the main area and their tables that are completely smoke free? If that is the case it is a BIG improvement..

Starbucks was advised by ‘Japanese Marketing Professionals’ that they would go bankrupt if they didn’t allow smoking. So they jettisoned the ‘experts’ and now Japan is the biggest profit maker for Starbucks.

Not only that, Starbucks is the most popular coffee shop in Japan in spite of it being the most expensive. So the idea that customers are going to disappear after the smoking ban is BS.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Members, strong ties, a continuing disaster. Wish I was 70+ years old in power. Then I could dictate to the shrinking pool of young people, damn it why don't they smoke.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As a non-citizen, you may decided to pack up and go home one day, so why allow you to voice your options?

Because non citizens have children here who ARE JAPANESE, and ANY responsible parent has to care for the future of their children. Foreign parents of Japanese children who don't want to vote and dont care about what happens here are the same as parents who dont support their children. What happens here and the course Japan takes affects ALL the Japanese children here-even the mixed Japanese kids, and it is incumbant upon ALL parents of Japanese children, foreign and Japanese, to look after the welfare of their children.

I agree smokers are vulgar people and they think it is fine to poison others with their disgusting habit, but unless you are a citizen, then you really have no rights to try and change any laws in Japan to suit you.

Arguing that foreign parents should not have the right to voice their opinions in Japan is the same as telling them they don't have a right to look after the welfare of their children. Whether or not the parent is Japanese is irrelevant. Our children ARE. What happens in Japan affects our Japanese children. EVERY parent should care.

If you wish to vote and have a say, then do as I did and become Japanese.

Or, even better, immigrate and rob Japan of the resource it needs the most: youth.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Just had my morning smoke. Outside, of course. Marvellous.

your lungs didnt think so, majority of smokers will die on average 10~12yrs earlier than non smokers, not from cancer as many would expect but from respiratory illness and strokes as the capillaries in your brain harden over time, facts backed by statistics. Marvelous maybe from your perspective, insanity from others

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I do not or cannot drink and I am having a hard time to relax myself. there a many other non drug related ways of relaxing just have to find the mental fortitude to not give into the desire to intoxicate yourself to relax, itll cost you in the long term.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Disgusting, just plain disgusting, as a tax paying resident this is the one topic I sorely wish I had a voice on.

yep only 45% of restaurants are non smoking, yet smokers only account for about 20% the population, theres Japanese democracy right there for you.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

By the way Nick,

I apologize for replying to your post in a negative way- I usually have a policy to only start quoting and answering posts in a positive way, and to never to start an argument with a poster but to answer them and get the last word if they do- since they started it.

So I don't mean to be confrontational.

But please allow me to say a few things: before I married and had a son, I really didn't care about J politics here as long as I had a job and the Izakayas and restaurants stayed open.

My son is almost 2 and a half and we are expecting our second in July. I constantly worry about his future as now, as we speak, it is tied to Japan. He is Japanese. So will my second be as well.

This smoking ban gave me a tiny ray of hope that things in Japan will change, but I can see now that the change is minimal and maybe just temporary.

After seeing SO many of my friends pack it up and take their Japanese families back to the west and also hearing people, (mostly foreigners- almost never from Japanese) saying naturalize or shut up, I too have come to the conclusion that the best way forward is in fact to leave and my wife and I are currently in the process of immigration to Canada.

You mentioned that As a non-citizen, you may decided to pack up and go home one day, so why allow you to voice your options? But has it ever occured to you that not allowing people to voice their opinions may be the fact that they are going home, that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy?

But maybe you are right. Maybe we should all just shut up and accept that this is Japan and that this is how its done.

Personally, I can't accept not having a voice in the country where my son will grow up. I also know that the only two options are naturalize or leave. I guess we'll leave and take 2 future tax-paying Japanese citizens with us.

I would like to end with one of my favorite quotes ever:

Dear God

Please give me the strength to change what I cannot accept and accept what I cannot change and please give me the wisdom to know the difference.

On a lighter note, Nick, did you really dump a pail of water on the person below you?

Good on you! Got balls of steel.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Because non citizens have children here who ARE JAPANESE, and ANY responsible parent has to care for the future of their children. 

Their children are Japanese so when they are legal age they can vote on what their country's politicians do, but the non-citizens still should have no rights here to tell Japan what is should and should not do. Want to have a voice in Japanese politics, then renounce your birth citizenship and become Japanese, then and only then do you have the rights to voice your opinions. Remember Japan is for JAPANESE, if you are NOT Japanese then your opinion is not valid or has any value here, if you do not like it, you have 1 of 3 options

1) Renounce you birth citizenship and become Japanese

or

2) Pack up and go home.

or

3) Cry in to your pillow.

I renounced both Australian and British citizenships to become Japanese so I had a say on what happens in my life here, and that is how is should be ... Some as the non-citizen in your home country trying to tell your government what it should and should not do, would not be tolerated what so ever as they are not a citizen.

Example : Australia has STOPPED Permanent Residents from voting.

Permanent residents enjoy many of the rights and privileges of citizens, including access to free or subsidised legal and health services. They do not have the right to vote in federal or state/territory elections, unless they were registered to vote prior to 1984

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Nick in Japan

they no longer smoke out side after I poured a bucket of water over them ...

There it is. If someone is smoking near you, you should physically assault them. Bonus points if they are in their own home.

Charles Noguhi

Agreed. Vote with your wallet. Any establishment banning smoking would surely simply be swapping smoking customers for non.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

100sqm is a joke. The only restaurants with that much floorspace are large chain familiy restaurants, which usually already have proper segmentation of smoking customers (i.e. almost empty glassed off sections).

Since small restaurant owners think they will lose all their customers (and to be fair, the only people that would put up with a small smokey restaurant are other smokers), why not just create a special tax for smoking-allowed restaurants, where the takings from that tax will be put directly towards healthcare; for the employees they hire that eventually end up getting cancer or other problems due to secondhand smoke? Of course this will be met with opposition from those establishments, but probably less than an outright ban would.

Put the decision in the hands of the bar owner; pay more to keep your smoker customers, or go smoke-free and see all the benefits.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Because non citizens have children here who ARE JAPANESE, and ANY responsible parent has to care for the future of their children. Foreign parents of Japanese children who don't want to vote and dont care about what happens here are the same as parents who dont support their children.

By that logic, you're the same as parents who don't support their children. Now I'm sure you're fuming about my comment, but hear me out, then reconsider what you've said.

You, as a non-citizen, have the ability to become a citizen, which would lalow you to vote, thereby caring for the future of your children. You have decided to not become a citizen however, and retain your original citizenship. Therefore, you are putting whatever it is that you're prioritizing over becoming Japanese, over your responsibility to care for your child. Which, according to your post above is the same as a parent who doesn't support their child.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There it is. If someone is smoking near you, you should physically assault them. Bonus points if they are in their own home.

The bi-law of the mansion states NO SMOKING on the balconies, people have complained since I moved in 5 years ago, and I also did and nothing changed, so for the safety of my child when he was born in 2014 I took action, the person still lives down stairs but has not smoked out on the balcony since that day in 2014.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan has made great strides with smoke related problems/situations. I remember smoking on trains, at stations, in a hospital, at schools I taught at and wonder why I was so stupid to even start. I have quit smoking, but I am paying for it as I battle unknown source Cancer. I have had four operations in just over three years and maybe one more in the near future. But this article is NOT about me, it is about how Japan will treat smokers in eating establishments or bars. Foreigners visiting the Olympics will in most cases expect to eat in a smoke free environment. I am sure there will be far more smoke free restaurants/bars at the time the Olympics are held. The number of smokers is decreasing all over the world. I do not necessarily see it as a really big issue as most people will stay out of places that are smoking establishments. I am not exactly shocked at some of the loopholes that might get around smoking, but hope smokers will be more considerate of the people around them. At least we do not have to deal with school related shootings like in Florida!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A bucket of water, an over reaction me thinks, outside close your windows. Do it to me and I'm ringing your bell. If it's such a problem a dialogue might be appropriate. What the hell. Dumping water on a neighbor for smoking outside? I'm so glad I don't live next to you. And I'm sure likewise.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

1) Renounce you birth citizenship and become Japanese

or

2) Pack up and go home.

or

3) Cry in to your pillow.

4) Discuss it as rational adults, with no expectation of actually being able to vote on it.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@ Aly Rustom

Yes I poured a bucket of water over the person, and its not the first time I have taken actions against people here, when living in Ichihara a drunk from SHIDAX use to urinate in the stair well at the apartments I was living at, this happened every Saturday night, so one night I loaded up my airsoft MP5 and waited for the person, as soon as they had their pants down I unloaded the full magazine on the them in full auto, after that never had anyone urinate in the stair well again.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

one night I loaded up my airsoft MP5 and waited for the person, as soon as they had their pants down I unloaded the full magazine on the them in full auto, after that never had anyone urinate in the stair well again.

Airsoft gun: 50,000 yen

Entertainment from shooting a drunk with it on a saturday night: priceless

Cost of therapy for child messed up from watching his dad get thrown in jail for shooting drunks with an airsoft gun: Tens of thousands of dollars.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

This is depressing to see.

I'll be boycotting any restaurant displaying that display that smoking sign. Its far from ideal or effective but I guess thats the only play those of us who care about our health and that of our kids have left.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Permanent residents should (IMO) have a right to vote in local elections in Japan, but not in national elections.

I pay tax...I should have a voice over how it's spent and by whom. ( at a local level)

Why not?

National elections on the other hand. Where you are voting over who runs the country...that's a citizens right. (unfortunately)

wtfjapan...."yep only 45% of restaurants are non smoking, yet smokers only account for about 20% the population, theres Japanese democracy right there for you."

Great fact find sir!

Do we need to say anything more when faced with a fact like this?

It's so obvious that the old fellas calling the shots are only taking this cop out route for their own interests and not ours.

C'mon my Japanese friends!!! Don't let this one slide!

Act now!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Their children are Japanese so when they are legal age they can vote on what their country's politicians do,

By then it will be too late. The changes that need to be done NOW to improve their future will not be done

but the non-citizens still should have no rights here to tell Japan what is should and should not do.

Yes they should. If they have kids they should have it. The fact that they don't is wrong.

Want to have a voice in Japanese politics, then renounce your birth citizenship and become Japanese, then and only then do you have the rights to voice your opinions.

Remember Japan is for JAPANESE,

Then don't hold the Olympics. Don't join the TPP. Better yet, go back to isolation. If that's how you truly feel.

Also if that is true, why is it that the Japanese were looking at the foreigners leaving japan after the fukushima disaster with disdain and calling them flyjin when they left?

if you are NOT Japanese then your opinion is not valid or has any value here,

Everyone's opinion matters and is vaild. If you can't learn to respect others they will not respect you.

if you do not like it, you have 1 of 3 options

By that logic, you're the same as parents who don't support their children.

No because I'm not doing it by choice. If I could vote I would. I think those who have the right to vote and don't are though.

Now I'm sure you're fuming about my comment, but hear me out, then reconsider what you've said.

I'm not fuming at you anymore. I do respect you, and your opinion holds a lot of water to me.

You, as a non-citizen, have the ability to become a citizen, which would lalow you to vote, thereby caring for the future of your children. You have decided to not become a citizen however, and retain your original citizenship. Therefore, you are putting whatever it is that you're prioritizing over becoming Japanese, over your responsibility to care for your child. Which, according to your post above is the same as a parent who doesn't support their child.

I see what you're saying and you make a very valid and extremely good point. But by doing so, you are giving nod to the system that is inherently biased talking to Japanese people about the situation.

The other thing is that I am taking things into my own hands and caring for my children's future only we are doing it throught a different path. Immigration to another country. Its just a shame that it had to come to this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The bi-law of the mansion states NO SMOKING on the balconies

And as I said:

How about just asking them not to smoke there since it's coming into your house?

And if that doesn't work, well that's what the bylaws are for - so you have something against which to make claims. Dumping water on someone, risking having them come and kick your ass in front of your newborn son, is pretty bad parenting choices.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

1) Renounce you birth citizenship and become Japanese

or

2) Pack up and go home.

or

3) Cry in to your pillow.

4) Discuss it as rational adults, with no expectation of actually being able to vote on it.

That's a good idea.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

only 45% of restaurants are non smoking, yet smokers only account for about 20% the population, theres Japanese democracy right there for you.

The comparison isn't how much of the population smokes, the comparison needs to be made with what percentage of the consumers of restaurants and bars are smokers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The comparison isn't how much of the population smokes, the comparison needs to be made with what percentage of the consumers of restaurants and bars are smokers.

True.

But then how many more non-smokers would frequent these bars and restaurants if they were made smoke-free?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I see what you're saying and you make a very valid and extremely good point. But by doing so, you are giving nod to the system that is inherently biased talking to Japanese people about the situation.

I'm giving that nod to all countries - I don't think permanent residents should be able to vote in national elections. I've been swayed to think that they should be given right to vote in municipal elections however.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

dcog9065Today  09:09 am JST

If the restaurants are clearly labeled as smoking establishments, then I don’t see the problem here. If you don’t like it, go to another restaurant, no one is forcing you to be with smokers

As has been written in many news reports today again on this issue in Japan, people don’t always have a choice when accompanying others, especially on work related dinners. As the ban basically allows smoking at almost every restaurant in Japan as so few are over 100sqm there are very few non-smoking restaurants.

i agree that visitors from countries where smoking in restaurants is banned (almost every other civilized country) will find it unacceptable to eat in a smoke filled establishment.

if anyone wants to start a crowd funded YouTube video warning non smokers that they will find it difficult to find a non smoking restaurant when they come for the Olympics I will be the first to donate. Please post your crowd find link here.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

But then how many more non-smokers would frequent these bars and restaurants if they were made smoke-free?

There are already smoke-free places - I personally almost never go to smoking restaurants. I don't see the number changing too much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry SL

Accidently deleted a part of my post. Let me start over again.

You, as a non-citizen, have the ability to become a citizen, which would lalow you to vote, thereby caring for the future of your children. You have decided to not become a citizen however, and retain your original citizenship. Therefore, you are putting whatever it is that you're prioritizing over becoming Japanese, over your responsibility to care for your child. Which, according to your post above is the same as a parent who doesn't support their child.

I see what you're saying and you make a very valid and extremely good point. But by doing so, you are giving nod to the system that is inherently biased, and you may be robbing your children of other choices they might have had. My british passport may help us in relocating somewhere in the future should the need arise. I look at not giving up my british passport as not burning my bridges which my family may need to cross someday.

Plus there are other ways to make a difference without voting-

talking to Japanese people about the situation, many of which are unaware that we have to renounce our citizenships to get japanese ones or that foreigners can't vote.

Attending peaceful rallies that protest this kind of treatment.

Social media.

Here. posting and discussing like we are doing right now.

We have to deal with the situation we are in as foreigners, but the most important thing is we don't condone it or support it. Because that would also make us irresponisible parents.

What do you think?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm giving that nod to all countries - I don't think permanent residents should be able to vote in national elections. I've been swayed to think that they should be given right to vote in municipal elections however.

We can agree on that

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All readers back on topic please. This story is not about foreign residents having the right to vote.

We have to deal with the situation we are in as foreigners, but the most important thing is we don't condone it or support it. Because that would also make us irresponisible parents.

What do you think?

As a generic idea, it sounds good. Of course it depends on the issue.

Personally, I think I have a different view of smoking than you though. I don't smokers should be given places to smoke, including some establishments, and I think that we as consumers should make our choices based on the type of establishment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't smokers should be given places to smoke, including some establishments,

Sorry, could you repeat that please?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The tobacco industry in Japan is the same as the NRA in the USA, corrupt and evil!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don't smokers should be given places to smoke, including some establishments,

Sorry, could you repeat that please?

Oops! "I think smokers should be given places to smoke, including some establishments".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

SL

Oops! "I think smokers should be given places to smoke, including some establishments".

Ok fair enough. I guess I support a more western approach to that by cutting it out completely.

But I would be very satisfied with enclosed spaces for the smokers as long as it doesn't bother the other people. I actually see no problem with enclosed smoking rooms where people go to smoke and then come back, but it would be nice to not have smoking seats.

Is that in line with what you are thinking?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But I would be very satisfied with enclosed spaces for the smokers as long as it doesn't bother the other people. I actually see no problem with enclosed smoking rooms where people go to smoke and then come back, but it would be nice to not have smoking seats.

That's what my local Mos Burger does, and I never smell smoke inside the restaurant, so that works for me.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That's what my local Mos Burger does, and I never smell smoke inside the restaurant, so that works for me.

Ok so we are actually on the same page then. I have no problem with the smokers, but sometimes you have to pass through the smoking seats to get to your seat which I hate.

That's why I would like to see a ban on smoking seats as well, but I'll support an enclosed area where these guys can stand (sit) and puff all they want as long as the smoke doesn't reach the seating area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

enclosed smoking rooms where the smokers can go, puff and then come back to the main area and their tables that are completely smoke free? If that is the case it is a BIG improvement..

Except that a smoker continues to exhale smoke for up to half an hour after they stub out their ciggie. And smoke travels easily from room to room in a building and hangs around, unseen and undetected, for several hours. So unless the 'enclosed smoking room' is hermetically sealed with a double airlock, and smokers spend at least 30 minutes in the airlock before being allowed to return to their non-smoking table, then it's nothing but a cosmetic tweak.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why do some people here think that being a citizen or not has anything to do with the problem at hand? Even the Japanese citizens who protested were not listened a beep by the dinosaurs oyaji politicians. So no, being a citizen or not doesn't come into this topic

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Even the Japanese citizens who protested were not listened a beep by the dinosaurs oyaji politicians

Excellent point. They weren't listened to at all.

I still want to know what this exactly means:

However, smoking will be permitted in restaurants and bars if they set up special rooms for exclusive use by smokers where no food or drink will be served.

Does that mean that the restaurants and bars will be effectively smoke free with smoking rooms only for the smokers? Anyone know?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Except that a smoker continues to exhale smoke for up to half an hour after they stub out their ciggie. And smoke travels easily from room to room in a building and hangs around, unseen and undetected, for several hours. So unless the 'enclosed smoking room' is hermetically sealed with a double airlock, and smokers spend at least 30 minutes in the airlock before being allowed to return to their non-smoking table, then it's nothing but a cosmetic tweak.

I agree, its not ideal, but a hell of a lot better than the current situation- IF that is in fact what they are proposing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The person in the mansion below us, use to smoke outside and their second hand smoke came in to our mansion, they no longer smoke out side after I poured a bucket of water over them ...

How irresponsible of you. I do hope your victim contacted the police.

Anger management issues aside, it's always a source of amusement for me the way us chimneys are portrayed as devils, craftily hanging around people's domiciles trying to smoke them into an apoplectic rage.

If and when the anti-smoking rules come in, I shall comply. I'm used to such things, having lived in other countries where smoking is restricted.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Facilities with customer seating areas of up to 100 square meters and capital of up to 50 million yen ($465,800) will be exempted from the requirement to establish separate smoking areas, if they display a sign indicating it is a "smoking space." 

A little smoking sticker in a hidden corner? They should mandate a one meter high smoking sign immediately outside the entrance.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is there any waiter or waitress? Tobacco illness is a professional matter for this kind of people who aren't smokers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why do some people here think that being a citizen or not has anything to do with the problem at hand? Even the Japanese citizens who protested were not listened a beep by the dinosaurs oyaji politicians. So no, being a citizen or not doesn't come into this topic.

Great point.

Since Japanese politicians have always been more sensitive and more responsive to gaiatsu than their own people, why become a citizen?

You probably have more actual power as an informed outsider. Voice your opinion far and wide.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As has been written in many news reports today again on this issue in Japan, people don’t always have a choice when accompanying others, especially on work related dinners. As the ban basically allows smoking at almost every restaurant in Japan as so few are over 100sqm there are very few non-smoking restaurants.

Yes! If you conduct a search for non-smoking restaurants on Tabelog you will see that less than 20% of all restaurants in Japan are non-smoking establishments. Many of these also simply list themselves as non-smoking only having non-smoking tables in the same room as smoking tables or have no smoking at lunchtime as with KaoThai in Takadanobaba. So there are very few places for non smokers to eat. The smokers’ argument that “well you can just go to a non smoking restaurant” is rather obtuse and not at all valid. Sure smokers have the right to smoke but only where they cannot affect the health of others and restaurants are frequented by more non smokers than smokers that simple have to endure the carcinogenic fumes smokers feel they have the right to subject everyone to.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Also helps that every country that has implemented it has had economic success. Countries that benefitted from taking industry down a peg or two. Remove industry power increases human well being. A concept not understood enough in Japan with oyaji-rule

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Shunsuke is worried that his smoking customers will leave in droves to Daisuke's little smoke filled den.

What's stopping Shunsuke marketing the restaurant as a family-friendly, smoke-free place? Do families actively seek out smoke-filled restaurants in Japan?

Once upon a time, customers could smoke in all hotel rooms. Now most hotels have specific non-smoking rooms. I'm not aware of a law that mandated this, so I assume that it was done because the hotels realised they could attract more customers that way. And in my experience the non-smoking rooms always sell out first.

There are already smoke-free restaurants across Japan, so there is demand for it. Other establishments just need to be a bit braver and make the transition - unless they're rubbish already and losing smokers would push them out of business, because non-smokers won't want to join them. In that case, why would you want to eat there anyway?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Now they have to explain me how they calculate 15000. Why not the pollution is the cause ? A totally invented numbers. It is supposed that in state where they banned smoking in public since 18 years ago there should be no death by second hand smoke.

"government survey in 2016 showed some 40 percent of nonsmokers said they have inhaled smoke from others at eateries."

Aaaaah so hard to go in non smoking facilities.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No signs being printed right now:

"NO SMOKING...unless you want to."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oops. "NEW" signs. Doh!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dcog9065Feb. 23  09:09 am JST

If the restaurants are clearly labeled as smoking establishments, then I don’t see the problem here. If you don’t like it, go to another restaurant, no one is forcing you to be with smokers.

Finding a non-smoking restaurant is not an option. Only 2% or restaurants in Tokyo are non-smoking. 15% of restaurants in Japan overall if you go by the numbers in Tabelog.com, Japan’s largest restaurant database. 864,689 restaurants are registered throughout Japan and 137,048 are non-smoking. Of 133,288 restaurants in Tokyo only 27,324 are non-smoking. Many restaurants that list themselves as non-smoking allow smoking in areas and the smoke permeates the entire restaurant. Why are smokers vilified? Because you cause passive smoking and lung disease and 15,000 deaths a year. The real criminals are the LDP however with 33.35% (Japan Tobacco Wikipedia page) ownership in Japan Tobacco they are not going to do away with their billions in earnings.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Finding a non-smoking restaurant is not an option. Only 2% or restaurants in Tokyo are non-smoking.

Sure it's an option - I don't go to smoking restaurants unless they have a completely sealed off smoking area, and I eat out quite a bit.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I don't go to smoking restaurants unless they have a completely sealed off smoking area

Restaurants never have a 'completely sealed off area'. At best there's a door (with an exchange of air every time it's opened for a smoker/waiter to go in or out), at worst it's a sign saying 'Smoking Area', with maybe a token plexiglas screen.

If you're in the non-smoking part of a 'segregated' restaurant, you are breathing in second-hand smoke, even if you can't smell it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Restaurants never have a 'completely sealed off area'. At best there's a door (with an exchange of air every time it's opened for a smoker/waiter to go in or out)

Not necessarily. Many smoking areas are of negative pressure due to the exhaust systems to pump out the smoke, so when the door opens, there is an intake of air from the outside world, not an exchange.

That said, as long as it doesn't smell, I'm ok. Meaning I'm not ok with this:

at worst it's a sign saying 'Smoking Area', with maybe a token plexiglas screen.

I consider those smoking establishments, and don't go to them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I bring incense now with me to restaurants. When someone lights up, so do I.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The law has nothing to do with health, smokers rights, non-smokers rights, restaurants or much at all.

But it is all to do with the absolute power of cronyism, vested interests, corrupt political practices and a spit in the eye of common sense.

Once again Abe Inc shows it can create laws boldly going against the grain of global medical science to favor it's own. And he knows the sheep will only bleat softly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Only 2% or restaurants in Tokyo are non-smoking

Really are you kidding us ? Have you ever been in Tokyo ? I think no. Typical non smoker hysteria, printing a situation tha doesn' t exist.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

dew gunToday  06:05 am JST

Only 2% or restaurants in Tokyo are non-smoking

Really are you kidding us ? Have you ever been in Tokyo ? I think no. Typical non smoker hysteria, printing a situation tha doesn' t exist.

Yes 20 years in Tokyo now, permanent resident. If you read my post you’ll see that I didn’t make the numbers up. I cited the figures. Please go to Tabelog yourself and verify before offering baseless “typical non smoker hysteria” comments. Please post with facts and citation yourself if you have anything other than a defensive comment by smoker afraid his nicotine habit may be curtailed. In actual fact you would still be able to smoke just as many cancer sticks a day at home but just not affect orher people’s health if a smoking ban were put in place. So perhaps you are the hysterical one?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Haruka I dunno, the combination of tobacco smoke and incense might kill someone. Just don't enter places that allow smoking and encourage others to do the same until these places suffer such drops in business that they ban smoking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Facilities with customer seating areas of up to 100 square meters and capital of up to 50 million yen ($465,800) will be exempted from the requirement to establish separate smoking areas, if they display a sign indicating it is a "smoking space.""

Phew! Those signs sure will stop the smoke in its tracks! Smoke NEVER drifts beyond non-smoking signs!

Cowards. Japanese politicians with their ties even make Republicans in the US look clean.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am not happy about this so...Non smokers (over 70% of the people in Japan) really need to just say, "sorry we are going somewhere else" to the management and staff of restaurants that allow smoke to pervade the entire eating area. I am not talking about the restaurants with true (sealed off or completely separate) non-smoking areas, but we know that most are not like this. For the sake of your health and being able to fully taste your food don't give in and pull a "しょうがない" for the sake of those addicted to nicotine and have to smoke at every opportunity next to the rest of us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes 20 years in Tokyo now, permanent resident. If you read my post you’ll see that I didn’t make the numbers up. I cited the figures. Please go to Tabelog yourself and verify before offering baseless “typical non smoker hysteria” comments. Please post with facts and citation yourself if you have anything other than a defensive comment by smoker afraid his nicotine habit may be curtailed. In actual fact you would still be able to smoke just as many cancer sticks a day at home but just not affect orher people’s health if a smoking ban were put in place. So perhaps you are the hysterical one?

If I smoke in a smoking establishment I am bothering nobody. If I do it in a non smoking one, yes I am bothering. It' s called logic. But you have to leave space for everybody. I have been in japan for 15 times and really no way that no smoking establishment are 2 percent no way. I challenge everybody to go there than report to me what they see. The hysterical one are people like you that don' t want to allow some space to be for smokers. If there are two restaurant, one smoking and the other no, why you have to come to the smoking to forbid ???

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If I smoke in a smoking establishment I am bothering nobody. If I do it in a non smoking one, yes I am bothering. It' s called logic. But you have to leave space for everybody. I have been in japan for 15 times and really no way that no smoking establishment are 2 percent no way. I challenge everybody to go there than report to me what they see. The hysterical one are people like you that don' t want to allow some space to be for smokers. If there are two restaurant, one smoking and the other no, why you have to come to the smoking to forbid ???

Going by the total number of restaurants Tabelog lists and clicking on the Non-smoking filter button down the page it does seem the 15% overall and 2% Tokyo nonsmoking places it correct. Whatever the precise numbers at there are certainly far more smoking restaurants in Japan than non smoking which makes it difficult for the non smoker to eat out. I have lived in Japan for 11 years and find it very difficult to find any place that is completely without smoke so I tend to eat in. Restaurants are small and so evenine person lighting up bothers everyone else who paid to enjoy their meal. The issue really is not just bother but health concerns though smokers have no right to impose either. The comments left by smokers here saying they have a right to smoke in public are insane. To be crude it’s like saying they have a right to spit in other people’s food and if they don’t like it go to a non-spitting establishment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites