Japan - 7 governors consider measures against passive smoking..

March 22, 2010 - YOKOHAMA — Seven governors of prefectures [Japan is divided into 47 prefectures, and each is further divided into municipalities] are considering mapping out their own measures to prevent secondhand smoking, a Kyodo News survey showed Saturday, March 19th. The survey was conducted earlier this month before Kanagawa Prefecture introduces Japan’s first ordinance in April (ordinance will come into force in April 2010) banning smoking in public facilities such as hospitals, schools and government offices. (Japan - Kanagawa - bans smoking in public places starting April 2010..)

Among the seven, the governors of [prefectures] Kyoto and Nara responded that they will study if it is necessary to introduce penal regulations for that purpose, according to the survey.

It also indicated that 18 governors said they expect the central government to enact laws with penalties to prevent passive (second hand, shs, involuntary, environmental tobacco smoke, ets, sidestream) smoking, with Shizuoka Gov Heita Kawakatsu saying Japan, as a signatory of the Treaty.WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, needs to enhance the legal system.

Meanwhile, 10 governors expressed cautious views over state control with punishment, with Hiroshima Gov Hidehiko Yuzaki responding it would be difficult to introduce penalties as people are guaranteed the freedom to smoke.

Reference: 7 governors consider measures against passive smoking, Japan Today, 3/21/2010.

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