• Kyodo

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The risk of exposure to passive smoking in restaurants and workplaces remains high in Japan despite the government’s aim of catching up with international standards in preventing such health hazards toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, a survey showed Monday.

The finding was part of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s annual health and nutrition survey conducted on 5,327 households nationwide in November 2015, of which 3,507 responded.

Responding to questions with multiple choice answers, 41.4 percent, or 3,863 people, of nonsmokers surveyed said they had experienced passive smoking at restaurants during the previous month.

The survey also showed 30.9 percent experienced it in workplaces and 30.9 percent on the streets.

The number of smokers, meanwhile, continued to fall. The percentage of adults who smoke declined to 18.2 percent from 19.6 percent a year earlier, according to the survey.

The health ministry is considering implementing tighter control measures, such as completely banning smoking on school and hospital premises and in restaurants.

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