National

With new ordinance, Tokyo restaurants must show patrons if smoking is allowed or not

JIJI

With Sunday’s partial entry into force of a Tokyo Metropolitan Government ordinance against passive smoking, related regulations will start at various facilities in the capital, including a rule obliging restaurants to put stickers to show whether indoor smoking is allowed or not.

The move comes as the capital is gearing up to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics smoke-free games.

On Saturday, a restaurant in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward put a sticker on its entrance showing that smoking is not allowed during lunch hours.

“The nonsmoking sign will help family customers feel free to visit our restaurant,” its owner said.

“But banning smoking during dinner hours would weigh on our business,” the owner said, adding, “I hope that the ordinance will help spur moves to create culture where people can enjoy meals without smoking.”

The central government partially put the revised health promotion law including stronger measures against passive smoking into effect in July.

From Sunday, the ordinance will ban smoking inside nurseries and kindergartens, as well as elementary, junior high and high schools, and also outdoor smoking spaces at those places.

The ordinance will go into full force on April 1 next year and smoking inside restaurants will be banned in principle.

Smoking will be allowed only in designated rooms inside the restaurant.

Penalties will be slapped on violators.

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