Osaka, Japan - smoking ban in taxis from July 2010..

June 23, 2010 - Some 90% of the taxis operating in Osaka Prefecture will introduce a smoking ban from July, a local transport bureau and a taxi association said.

Osaka, which has the second-largest number of taxis after Tokyo, will become the 40th of Japan’s 47 prefectures to prohibit smoking inside taxis, with about 20,000 taxis, belonging to local taxi associations, set to become smoke-free with the decision.

While some resisted the move out of fear it could drive away customers, already more than 5,000 taxis in the prefecture are operating smoke-free. As of this month, taxis in seven other prefectures—Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Wakayama, Tottori, Yamaguchi and Nagasaki—have not banned smoking, according to the Osaka Taxi Association.

Reference: Most Osaka taxis to ban smoking from July,, 6/20/2010.

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