Diet group plans law to reduce secondhand smoke

JIJI

A suprapartisan group of lawmakers is being formed to draft a new law to prevent secondhand smoking in public spaces ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, informed sources said.

Shigefumi Matsuzawa of Your Party, a small opposition force, proposed the new group and some 50 Diet members decided to join, the sources said. Its first meeting might be held in November.

Facilities of a highly public nature are expected to be targeted by the law, which may oblige restaurants, hotels and pachinko parlors to have separate smoking areas, the sources said.

Those who ignore the law would be fined, the sources said.

Among the 47 prefectures, only Kanagawa and Hyogo have ordinances for preventing secondhand smoke that penalize violators.