|October 4th, 2004, 10:12 AM||#1|
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Considering how common smoking is in Japan, I am surprised to learn that this was actually in effect. Toronto I thought was ahead on anti-smoking legislation, but I stand corrected. It doesn't surprise me after thinking about it, considering how many people use the space. There's a noticeable difference when you walk to the neighboring Shibuya ward.
Chiyoda smoking ban a blazing success
Ward's 'living environment ordinance' inspires copycats to kick butts
Friday marked two years since Chiyoda Ward became the nation's first municipality to enforce a "living environment ordinance" aimed primarily at prohibiting smokers from lighting up in public and throwing cigarette butts on the streets.
The ward office's hardline policy has sharply reduced cases of smoking and littering and has led other municipalities, including Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward and the Hiroshima and Fukuoka municipalities, to put similar ordinances into effect.
Chiyoda Ward collects a fine of 2,000 yen from each person found to have violated the ordinance in locations designated as no smoking areas, including the vicinities of JR Tokyo, Akihabara and Ochanomizu stations.
The number of violations totaled about 14,000 as of the end of August.
The ward's administrative territory covers locations in the center of the capital, including the Marunouchi and Otemachi districts. These areas are central to the nation's economy and feature the head offices of big corporations and financial institutions.
The Imperial Palace is also located within the ward.
Officials inspect four selected spots along Akihabara's main street once a week to count the cigarettes that have been discarded.
They counted 995 butts immediately before the ordinance went into effect two years ago, but learned recently that the number had plunged to a little more than a dozen.
Japan Tobacco Inc. has established a smoking room -- dubbed Smokers Style Akihabara Store -- on the first floor of a building in the Akihabara district.
The room, equipped with smoke-separating equipment, is often filled with salaried workers. A Japan Tobacco public relations official said the company wants to establish coexistence between smokers and nonsmokers.
Kentaro Ogawa, an official of Chiyoda Ward's living environment division, said: "We knew it would be a lot better if there were no punitive measures. But fining violators was our last resort."
In the past, the municipality placed ashtrays on the street and distributed portable ashtrays among smokers -- but to no avail, he said.
Although some people initially voiced doubt over the introduction of fines, officials said supporters of the ordinance far outnumbered opponents.
The ward received comments from residents who said the town as a whole has become clean because the ordinance also prohibits the littering of empty cans and leaving bicycles in unauthorized places.
Chiyoda Ward's Ogawa said the punitive provision was not the only reason for the success of the ordinance.
He noted that the ward's population during the daytime totals 1 million, with company employees commuting from other areas, while the population at night, including those who live in the area, numbers 40,000.
He said the ward called on residents, corporations and schools to join street-cleaning initiatives and organize antismoking patrols in neighborhoods.
These actions, he said, led the whole town to get involved against smoking and sparked local awareness of the importance of keeping neighborhoods clean.
Ward Mayor Masami Ishikawa and senior officials still appear on the streets almost two years after the introduction of the ordinance, passing out packets of tissue paper to pedestrians in an effort to educate the general public about the smoking ban.
|January 8th, 2008, 06:15 AM||#2|
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Tokyo taxi passengers breathe freely as smoking ban goes into effect
7 January 2008
TOKYO (AP) - Tokyo's two largest taxi associations implemented a smoking ban Monday that made nearly all of the cabs operating in Japan's capital smoke-free amid rising health awareness and tighter regulations.
The ban was implemented by the Tokyo Taxi Association, whose member companies operate 34,000 cabs, and the Tokyo Independent Taxi Association, which has some 17,500 owner-operated taxis, association officials said.
The two associations account for around 95 percent of Tokyo's taxis, according to Transport Ministry official Yoshinori Takahashi. The 3,000 or so unaffiliated taxis in the city are also expected to go smoke-free, according to media reports.
Tokyo's move brings the number of Japan's 47 prefectures (states) with taxi smoking bans to 15, Takahashi said. Including partial bans in other areas, some 122,000 of Japan's 274,000 taxis are now smoke-free, he said.
In separate statements, the two Tokyo associations said that they took the step as a measure to protect passengers from secondhand smoke as stipulated under the 2003 Health Promotion Law.
A 2005 Tokyo court ruling also obliged taxi operators to consider ways to protect their drivers from secondhand smoke, Kyodo News agency said.
Japan's smoking rate, one of the highest in the industrialized world according to industry data, has been steadily declining in recent years amid growing awareness of the health risks and a tightening of regulations.
Many restaurants have begun designating nonsmoking sections, while train operators have banned smoking in all but a few designated areas. Many public facilities and hospitals are also smoke-free, while cigarette packs must carry a sign warning of cigarettes' harmful health effects.
|March 7th, 2008, 11:32 PM||#4|
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Well done is better than well said... Benjamin franklin
|March 19th, 2008, 08:29 AM||#5|
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thank god Tokyo is finally realizing that smoky air is filthy to 70% of the population.
i live for the day they extend the ban to restaurants and cafes...
mmm skyscraper i love you
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