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A group of Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers backing the health ministry’s push to crackdown on secondhand smoke held an emergency meeting on Wednesday in response to what they say is an “out-of-the-question” proposal unveiled a day earlier by pro-tobacco party members.

“Our heart is with the health ministry on this,” Akiko Santo, an anti-tobacco crusader in the ruling party, told reporters after the meeting in Nagata-cho — the nation’s political epicenter. “Given Japan’s efforts against passive smoking are among the worst in the world, we need to realize how detrimental secondhand smoke is to our health and prevent it through multiple measures.”

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