• May 26, 2024

Smoking ban concessions

 Smoking ban concessions

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is considering expanding the number of exemptions that would be allowed to proposed regulations restricting tobacco smoking in restaurants, according to a story in the Mainichi Daily News.

The move marks a shift for the ministry that has been brought about by a backlash from some Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmakers.

The ministry had earlier said it could not comply with requests for further exemptions to its public-places, smoking-ban proposal because Japan would rank second to bottom on a four-tier World Health Organization scale even under the current proposal.

However, the ministry, with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in mind, has prioritized passing legislation during the current Diet session.

In addition, it is believed that some officials within the government and ruling political parties wanted to avoid the topic becoming an issue during the Tokyo Metropolitan government election scheduled for this summer.