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The health ministry has drastically relaxed its planned regulations on indoor smoking at restaurants, after a plan to tolerate smoking only at small eateries and bars met with opposition from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, government sources said Thursday.

The ministry, which initially planned to ban smoking at restaurants excluding those with a floor space of up to 30 square meters, is now leaning toward allowing smoking at restaurants with a floor space of up to 150 square meters.

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