• Kyodo News

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A total smoking ban took effect Monday on limited and express trains operated by Japan Railway group companies in Honshu, making most JR trains smoke-free nationwide.

With the step by East Japan Railway Co., Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) and West Japan Railway Co., smoking cars are available only on sleeper trains and Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen Line bullet trains and on some trains running in Shikoku.

Smoking bans have already gone into effect on JR trains in Hokkaido and Kyushu. Services newly subject to the ban include trains crossing the operating boundaries of the JR companies.

A total smoking ban had been introduced on almost all trains excluding bullet trains, but it took time for the JR companies to apply the ban to trains serving several operating areas, JR company officials said.

Smoking cars are expected to remain on sleeper trains with compartments, they said.

They are also expected to remain on the Tokaido and Sanyo shinkansen lines because those trains have many cars.

Trains on other bullet-train lines, however, already ban smoking.

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