Photo source: TokyoMap.com
Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan
and is located on the eastern side
of the main island, Honshu. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is located
in Shinjuku City.
Smoking Ban was adopted over Tokyo Taxi.
Since most Tokyo's taxis adopted the smoke-free policy, there has been
reported little trouble with passengers.
A total ban of smoking in the taxis brought a fact that an increasing number
of drivers is thinking of quitting
the smoking habits themselves. A recent survey found, prior to the smoking
ban, only 21.6 % of the smoking
drivers said they wanted to quit. This figure has risen to 35.8%, since
the ban has been in place.
The biggest reason voiced by supporters of the ban was that ' cleaning
the inside of the cars has become easier'.
However, the 39.8% of those against the ban complained that 'they were
carrying fewer passengers now'.
Although Tokyo taxis now nonsmoking, the majority of the country's restaurants,
cafe and bars are still
allowing customers to smoke. There is no law, which bans smoking in a public
indoor space in Japan.
Reference: Takahiro Fukada, The Japan Times, March 15, 2008.
(L) Information board notifying a total smoking ban in all taxis at the
Tokyo metropolitan area
(R) All taxis carry no-smoking plate on the vehicle. Photographed near
the East Gate of JR Shinjuku Station in January 2008.
Smoking ban in Tokyo's Taxi
In Januaary 2008, all taxis in Tokyo became smoke-free. The Tokyo Taxi
a complete ban on smoking in all vehicles.
Photograph was taken in front of the North Gate of JR Tokyo Station.
A total smoking ban applied to all taxi vehicles in the Tokyo Metropolitan
area is not by the state law,
but a voluntary decision by the Tokyo Taxi Association, which is an industry
group to which nearly
90 percent of corporate cab operators in Tokyo belong, decided to enforce
a total ban on smoking
in all vehicles at its board of directors meeting in August 2007.
The association had been hesitant about seeking a blanket ban because it
assumed it would be difficult
getting the estimated 18,000 self-employed taxi drivers and about 50 nonmember
taxi operators in
Tokyo to accept the policy. It also cited the many requests from customers
who want to light up
when they travel for long distances at night. However, some operators in
Tokyo have already decided
to adopt a complete ban on smoking. Checker Cab Company, a leading operator
with a fleet of
about 5,825 cars as of June 2007, has decided that all of its vehicle will
On the background behind the move of this non-smoking policy on their fleets,
there is also judicial
support. The Tokyo District Court in December 2005 handed down a ruling
that said a total ban on
smoking in taxis would be preferable. June 2007, Oita Prefecture became
the first prefecture to make
all its taxis smoke-free. Nagano Prefecture followed suit.
Japanese Government was in a different position. Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, the
Minister of Land Infrastructure
and Transport, in power between September 2006 and August 2008, made the
assertion as a person of
government that all taxi vehicles should not be smoke-free, and we should provide a certain number of
smoking taxis. However, this crazy announcement was not officially binding, and a total
smoking ban to
Tokyo's taxi was established in 2008, and, at present, is well operated.
Tetsuzo Fuyushiba , the Minister of Land Infrastructure and Transport,
in power between September 2006 and August 2008
He lost an election in August 2009, and died from pneumonia at age of 75
$B!!(BSmoking ban in taxis in Japan
Taxi Fare in Tokyo: 0 m - 1,052m $B!o(B410
$B!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(Bplus$B!o(B80, each additional 237m (as of January 2018)
$B!!(BSmoking ban in train, restaurant and hotel in Japan
Smoke-free hotels in Japan
Smoking survey in hotels in Tokyo
How to protect you from toxic tobacco smoke when you use a restaurant in
Restaurant industry opposes total smoking ban ahead of 2020 Olympics.
Smoke free should be the minimum standard for the host city of the Olympics.
Olympic healthy sports environment is frustrating.
You have to select carefully restaurants in which smoking is prohibited.
The worst anti-smoking measures have announced by Japanese Government in
A new proposal about smoking regulation by the Health Ministry of Japan
in January 2018:
1. A smoking booth is allowed in a large-sized restaurant and bar.
2. Smoking is freely allowed in small-sized restaurant and bar when 'smoking
sign' is posted
at the entrance into the facility.
3. How to classify is undetermined. Members of Liberal-Democratic Party (
Prime minister Abe,
Minister of Finance, Aso, etc.)
are requesting the line of 150sqm. If so, about 90 % of food shops are
in almost in all restaurants, smoking is allowed.
This appeared to be the worst anti-smoking measure in the World, neglecting
the WHO and IOC agreements.
January 2018 Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D.,PhD.
In June 2017, the former Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Shiozaki
has said that the anti-smoke law
should not be ashamed before the world. The minister stressed that many
citizens still suffer serious
second-hand smoke in public facilities, such as restaurants and workplaces.
He also said,'
For the 2020 Tokyo-Olympic, we are responsible for succeeding the tradition
of the Olympic without tobacco.
If a restricted exception was set up at a small-scale restaurant, the Minister
said that the principles and exceptions
would reserve and in most restaurants and bars, and the user can put a
cigarette at a food-shop.
The flow of politics has changed greatly toward unfavorable direction,
in August 2017.
Prime Minister Abe and Finance Minister, Aso dismissed Minister Shiozaki,
because he disagreed to
a request of LDP members who admit smoking in the restaurant and bars.
As a result, the Tobacco Chairperson
of LDP was nominated as a Minisiter in demand of Tokyo Olympic Games. He
is the brother in law
of Finance Minister Aso. At the same time, Representative Kato, who claims
a separate smoking booth
in a restaurant, was newly appointed as the next Minister of Health.
Smoking Regulation Awareness Survey in Japan
Do you support the indoor total smoking ban?
Smoking should be prohibited in all indoor public space 83.7%
The individual firms select the state of smoking restriction and show the
outcome in the entrance 9.2%
A smoking-space separation in a facility 5.5%
Gender display of voters: Male, 61.8%, Female 36.6%
Source: Asahi Shimbun Awareness Survey on smoking regulation performed
in April 2017.
Smoking Rate Investigation in Japan
Overall smoking rate: 17.9% of the total population in Japan
Gender display: Male, 27.8%, Year-on-year 0.4% decrease
Female 8.7%$B!!(BYear-on-year 0.3% decrease
Source. JT data May 2018
$B!!(BUS: Overall 15.5% (Gender display: Male, 17.5%, Female 13.5%) in 2016
$B!z(BThis Web site is link-free.
This information was provided by the Smokefree Hotel and Travel.
The article was written in May 2007, and last revised in September 2018,
by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D., PhD.