Restaurant industry opposes total smoking ban ahead of 2020 Olympics

No smoking sign displayed on the wooden table

As the government prepares to strengthen steps to combat passive smoking ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Japanese restaurant industry groups on Thursday voiced opposition to a total ban on smoking in restaurants.

At a meeting in Tokyo of industry organizations, participants expressed concern banning smoking would drive small-scale businesses into closing, or Japan should aim to become a leading country in promoting separate smoking areas.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare wants to ban smoking in principle inside restaurants and aims to submit to the Diet a bill to revise the Health Promotion Law to prevent secondhand smoke.

The meeting adopted a resolution that seeks understanding of voluntary efforts on the matter by the industry.

“It is the time to come up with creative ideas for realizing a society in which everyone can enjoy themselves without troubling others,” said Shigeru Ishiba, former secretary general of the ruling-Liberal Democratic Party, who attended the event.



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