Air-Clean Tokyo's Taxi

Photo source:

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, as of 2008.
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 Association decided
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 be smoke-free.

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 in 2011.

 Smoking ban in taxis in Japan

Taxi Fare in Tokyo: 0 m - 1,092m ¥500
           plus¥100, each additional 255m (as of November 2022)

Taxi fee in Japan

Smoking ban in train, restaurant and hotel in Japan
Smoke-free hotels in Japan
Smoking survey in hotels in Tokyo

 The worst anti-smoking measures have announced by Japanese Government in 2018.

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 included and,
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.

Political Background:

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

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% Year-on-year 0.3% decrease

Source. JT data May 2018

 US: Overall 11.5% (Gender display: Male, 13.1%, Female 10.1%) in 2021

Tokyo metro government enacts watered-down ordinance against passive smoking at restaurants.
The new anti-smoking law shows that the indoor smoking is prohibited, in principle, at restaurants
and bars that employ workers regardless of the size of seating spaces. Customers can enjoy a cigarette
in smoking rooms, however, are not allowed to have the meals in such spaces.

June 27, 2018 Mainichi Japan

執筆 医学博士 宮本順伯
This 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.
Copyright (C) 2007 Junhaku Miyamoto, PhD. All right is reserved.

Three major Japanese railway companies think that the smoking car
and/or smoking booth in a train are the superb service to train passengers.

Smoke-free Hotel and Travel
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