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Fujisawa: Do you think the government should raise the tax on tobacco?

by Charles Lewis

Neil Shapiro
English teacher, 42 (American)

No, I certainly don’t want the government to raise the tax on cigarettes — because I smoke.

Takanari Ishii
Student, 18 (Japanese)
It’s right that the government taxes tobacco. People bought lots of cigs before they raised the tax last time, and the same thing would happen again — but that can’t be helped.

Michael Seymour
Golf marshal, 47 (American)
Yeah, I think they should. Cleaning up after people who smoke costs a lot of money — the debris doesn’t go away by itself.

Ms. Sugimoto, 30s
Housewife (Japanese)
Yes, they should. I think they should use the money for rebuilding the Tohoku region if they raise the tax on tobacco.

Brent Spencer
Headhunter, 38 (Canadian)
Yes. The government spends a lot of tax money on health care for smokers. They’ve got to compensate somehow, and it would discourage smoking.

Kiki Kunimatsu
Producer, 48 (Japanese)
There’s a global movement to cut the number of smokers, and Japan should be part of it. There are less places now where you can smoke in Japan, but more must be done.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp