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2. Protecting the people from passive smoking

An equally crucial issue for Tokyo’s new advances is measures to prevent passive smoking, which are outlined in the proposed ordinance we are presenting at this regular session of the Assembly. While also making efforts to align the contents with the Diet’s bill, the Ordinance to Prevent Passive Smoking was drafted with the aim to prevent the ill effects on health caused by second-hand smoke exposure indoors. In our bill, we have incorporated the TMG’s own rules that focus on people: protecting employees, who may find it difficult to avoid second-hand smoke and children, whose health is easily impacted. It is a policy that truly embodies the “health first” concept.

Specifically, from the standpoint of protecting both customers and employees equally, the ordinance prohibits smoking indoors at restaurants and drinking establishments that hire employees regardless of the size of the business, and only permits smoking in dedicated smoking rooms. To protect children, along with banning smoking on the grounds of kindergartens, daycare centers, elementary, junior high, and high schools, the ordinance also bans children from entering smoking rooms at other facilities. Through such measures that will include making over 80 percent of restaurants and drinking establishments subject to regulation, I believe that we will be able to more effectively protect the health of Tokyo citizens. Meanwhile, we will expand support for the building of dedicated smoking rooms by restaurants and bars, as well as the creation of public smoking areas, as a consideration to smokers and to reduce the burden on businesses.

The ordinance will be phased into effect and fully enforced, including penalties, by the Tokyo 2020 Games. Under the strong belief that we must protect the people, we will work with the municipalities, and while receiving the understanding and support of relevant groups and others, we will advance measures befitting the host city of the Games. I want to pass on to future generations a society where everyone -- both smokers and non-smokers -- can live comfortably, as one form of a Tokyo that has evolved to higher levels.

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