LDP OKs Diluted Draft Bill Against Public Smoking (News)


Tokyo, Feb. 22 (Jiji Press)—The health, labor, and welfare division of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday broadly approved a diluted draft bill for strengthening measures against passive smoking in public places, including restaurants.

The draft bill to revise the health promotion law, presented by the Ministry of Health to the LDP division, allows as an exception smoking at existing restaurants with dining areas of 100 square meters or less that are operated by companies with capital of ¥50 million or less.

The government plans to finalize the bill at a cabinet meeting shortly for submission to the current regular session of the Diet, aiming to fully implement the revised law with tougher smoking regulations on April 1, 2020, before the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in the same year. The amended law will be reviewed five years later.

The actual size of restaurants to be exempted from the smoking regulations is expected to be some 150 square meters, including kitchens and other space.

The ministry's earlier proposal called for excluding only small restaurants and bars with floor spaces of up to 30 meters.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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