02 May '17, 12am

#Japan wrestles over smoking ban as Tokyo Olympics loom

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo risks being one of the unhealthiest Olympic Games hosts in years, as an anti-smoking law exposes deep rifts over tobacco tax revenue, personal freedom and the dangers of passive smoking, which kills thousands of Japanese each year. There is pressure on the Japanese capital ahead of the 2020 Summer Games, including from the International Olympics Committee (IOC), to follow Rio de Janeiro and other recent Olympic venues in banning smoking in all public places to create a healthy sporting environment. But an initial proposal for a blanket ban on smoking indoors across Japan was opposed by pro-smoking politicians, restaurateurs and Japan Tobacco, which is one-third government-owned and paid the state US$700 million in dividends in 2015. The health ministry scaled back its plan, to allow smoking indoors in spaces around 30 square metres as long as adequa...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/japan-wrestles...

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