The Olympic Games participants should be hospitable with a smoke-free
policy in all restaurants and cafes in Tokyo.
It is considered that all host cities of Olympic Games should provide a
healthy public environment.
For that reason, a restaurant, cafe and bar are free from the side-smoke
released from the tip
of cigarette. A railway train is also expected to be smokefree, without
the smoking vehicle or booth.
In 1988, IOC ( International Oympic Comitte ) advised to ban smoking in
all Olympic facilities.
Since Japan, one of three candidates for a host city for 2020-summer Olympic
Games, has no plan
to prohibit smoking in a restaurant, whereas Turkey and Spain already enforced
a smoking ban in their
A minority group in Japan was afraid to lose a large amount of Olympic
bids -related costs,
which is said to be 130 billion yen ( 1.32 billion U.S. dollars ) or more,
when an indifferent to
the concerns of the smoking restrictions by Government is made public of
the world. However,
surprisingly, the most promising candidate, Madrid defeated in a vote a
narrow margin by Istanbul,
probably from an economic anxiety. As a result, Tokyo has emerged as the
This can be associated with a strong government groundwork to many nations.
A smiling talk
of 'Omotenashi', which means the Japanese hospitality, by Christel Takigawa,
Abe's word, 'It is under control', in an assertive manner, for the worry
of contaminated water
from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant. The biggest weakness of Japan,
e.g., the problems
of no nationwide-smoking ban in a public indoor place, was buried among
Now, Tokyo is a host city for the 2020-summer Olympic Games. However, many
will be disappointed to see most of the restaurants are smoky, and further;
we will be flooded with
a grievance. In 1994, a total smoking ban started in California. The clean-air
law is enlarged to
the area in states and nations. Since 2007, most industrial nations enforced
a carpet smoking
ban in a restaurant and cafe, and stayed there. In North America and Europe,
reduced the number of smoking guest rooms or abolished completely, providing
lodging facility. In Japan, it is not so. Hotels in Tokyo provide numbers
of smoking guest
rooms. Some of them exceed 70% of total guest rooms. Most Japanese Inns
no-smoking rooms. You may find an ashtray at each guest room. Smoking restrictions
not common even at a lobby in a Japanese-style 'ryokan', inn.
Smoking is allowed in a railway vehicle in a certain train in Japan and
China. All night-trains
in Japan has a smoking vehicle. The smoking vehicle-ratio to the total
vehicles of 'Hokutosei'
and 'Twilight Express' are about 71 %; which means more than 20 % larger
than the vehicle,
in which smoking is prohibited. Shinkansen bullet trains operated by JR-Tokai
( JR-Central )
and JR-West provide a smoking vehicle or a vehicle with a smoking booth.
On the other hand,
China announced to prohibit smoking in all Chinese high-speed trains running
on a railway track,
starting in January 2014. Now, all long-distance trains in Australia and
night trains in Finland
have abolished a smoking booth in a vehicle.
With no exception, all airports in Japan have a smoking room for smokers.
Narita has 43 smoking rooms, and Haneda Tokyo has 69 smoking-rooms, which
is the largest
among the whole countries. There is absolutely no plan to abandon these
smoking spaces in
the buildings. In contrast, France, Ireland, UK, Canada, New Zealand and
at present, no smoking-rooms in the airport terminal. Beijing International
all 36 smoking rooms in May 2011 in the terminal. However, because of a
frequent violation of
non-smoking rule by air passengers, seven months later, it resumed nine
In the United States, there are 29 international airport. Of these, five
Salt Lake City Airport, provide smoking rooms in the terminal.
Most Japanese has an illusion that a smoking-room should be there in all
airports. The Japan
Association of Travel Agents, which treat a lot of group tours for Japanese,
requested the airport
authority of Taipei International Airport, whether they can provide a separate
room for smoking
inside. This is very rude interference with the act in Taiwan, which has
a rule to ban smoking
inside of a public place. However, since Japanese tourists are the major
part of visitors to Taiwan,
the airport agency provided a new smoking room at the corner of the terminal
building for smoking
passengers. The signboard displayed as the 'outdoor smoking room' .
'There is no obligation to implement total smoking-ban recommendation issued
from the World Health
Organization' said the officer for tobacco control in the Ministry of Health,
Labour and Welfare
in Japan, Junichiro Mori, in November 2008. He mentioned, since it is difficult
to enforce a total smoking
ban in food industries, there is no choice but to proceed with establishment
of a separated smoking area
apart from non-smoking section. He supported to the systems that tobacco
companies also claim.
In general, Japanese thinks that for protecting the non-smokers from the
a separate smoking section should be different from the space in which
The majority of politicians think the same way. In April 2011, Kanagawa's
local law that prevents a
second-hand smoking was established. This ordinance legally admit to working
in the room filled with
a tobacco-smoke, and abandoned a carpet smoking ban in a public space.
expressed to give a finance assistance to build a smoking room to promote
the separate non-smoking
and smoking systems. This political rule was handed over the central government.
The Ministry of Health,
Labour and Welfare announce to give 25% aid for a smoking-room: This was
increased to 50% in
April 2013. This policy is completely against to the effort carried out
by the government of the advanced
industrial countries, to abolish a smoking space in a public space. It
is also against to the international
commitment, which Japan ratified WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
It is well known that it is very difficult to prevent the tobacco-smoke
to flow out the smoking room.
When there are people who work in the smoking space, the adverse effect
on the human health is
very evident. They are breathing a contaminated toxic carcinogenic air,
each day. The main reason
the central or local government is to enforce a carpet smoking ban in a
public space is to protect,
for instance, a restaurant waiter and waitress, train conductor and sales
woman working in a smoking
train compartment, from the adverse effect of gas released from the tip
At present, Japan is the only country which recommended a public space
to be separated into
the smoking and non-smoking area. Spain admitted to a mistake of the anti-smoking
law of 2006,
and introduced a tough new carpet smoking ban in January 2011. Netherlands,
in which a smoking
room was allowed in a cafe, will enforce a total smoking ban in July 2014.
Russia has prohibited smoking
in workplaces and trains. The restricted area will expand to restaurants
and bars after June 2014.
It is evident that a tobacco policy in Japan is completely deviated from
other countries. We should
follow the international commitment of WHO tobacco treaty. I believe smoke-free
cafes are a precondition for the 2020 Olympic Games. It comes true only
after we provided a safe public
indoor space, we can show a warm spirit of Japanese hospitality, 'Omotenashi'.
The article was written in October 2013, by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D., PhD.
Symposium highlights issue of indoor smoking bans in Japan: Lecture talk
by Dr. Junhaku Miyamoto in 2011
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How to protect yourself from toxic tobacco smoke when you use a restaurant in Japan.
At which hotel, would you like to stay in Tokyo?
The ratio of a smoking guest room to the total hotel rooms was calculated,
based on-the-spot investigation: An actual survey in 2013-2014
How do they cope with the smoking problems in hotels of Tokyo?
Smoke-free hotels in Japan
Is it impossible to create a smoke-free society in Tokyo ?
Tokyo International Airport has 69 smoking booths or rooms:
the largest number among airports in the world.
Superexpress train, shinkansen, bound for Kyoto runs, with a smoking car or a vehicle
with the booth for smokers.
All sleeper-trains in Japan are connecting a smoking vehicle.
Department of Health, Labor and Welfare announced to assist an establishment
indoor smoking room in restaurant and hotels, and will increase the financial support rate
from the present 25% to 50% of the whole construction fee in 2013.
Japan's effort to curb exposure to secondhand smoke is one of the worst in the world.
The worst anti-smoking measures have announced by Japanese Government in
Olympic healthy sports environment is frustrating.
Japan Tobacco Inc. is trying to brainwashing Japanese people, using TV commercial.
The way to sell a tobacco in Japan:
An automatic vending machine for cigarette sale in Japan is the most in
Smokers, get off sidewalk and go inside.
This article was written by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D.,PhD in October 2013.