Smoking ban in Hyogo
I know what you’re thinking – April Fool’s, right? No. Sadly, though, it does not appear to cover restaurants.
Hyogo initially planned to extend the total ban to private establishments, including department stores, hotels and restaurants, but was forced to back down in the face of stiff opposition from local business groups.
Private establishments will instead be required to set up smoking and nonsmoking sections by April 2014. Offenders could be slapped with a fine of up to ¥300,000.
Hyogo Prefecture is now the second in Japan to introduce such a ban. The first ban was implemented by Kanagawa Prefecture, which came into effect on 1 April, 2010.
It seems like the movement to ban smoking in Hyogo is quite a sophisticated one – they have a fairly thorough website that is worth checking out. It’s a good resource for anyone interested in smoking in Japan. As an aside, you may also want to check out 25 Cafes – a good site which has a review of non-smoking cafes. It’s currently limited to Tokyo, but my understanding is that the author plans on expanding its scope.
You should also check out my earlier post on Non-Smoking Japan!
Below the fold is a PDF summary of the history of tobacco control in Japan prepared by the World Health Organisation.