Japan to Exclude Small Bars from Planned Smoking Ban


Tokyo, Feb. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry plans to exclude small bars from public eating and drinking places, such as restaurants, where smoking will be prohibited toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, according to informed sources.

The ministry is drafting a bill to amend the health promotion law to basically make smoking illegal in places where food and drinks are served.

Initially, it considered imposing an all-out ban on indoor smoking at public places, except for smoking rooms, and fines against law violators. But the plan led to complains by some lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that small restaurants and bars will suffer sales drops.

Currently under consideration is allowing smoking in bars, pubs and other alcohol-serving places that are small in size and shut out minors, if they post warnings against health danger of smoking to nonsmokers, the sources said.

Although specific conditions for the exceptional treatment will be decided later, the ministry is examining the idea of approving smoking in adult-only bars with a floor space of 30 square meters or less, they said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press smoking