There was judicial support behind the move to smoking ban in taxis. The
Tokyo The District Court in
December 2005 handed down a ruling that said a total ban on smoking in
taxis would be preferable to
avoid passive smoking. The first prefecture that introduced a taxi smoking
ban in Japan was Oita prefecture
in June 2007. Nagano Prefecture followed suit, and taxi companies in Chiba
Prefecture and many others
followed smoking ban and became smoke-free in taxis.
Taxi smoking ban to take effect before the Summit 2008.
Source: The Hokkaido Shimbun Press April 15, 2008
In April 2008, the Sapporo Hired-car Association announced that it would
implement a total ban on
smoking in taxis that would be started from July 2008. The association,
which is comprised of 74 taxi
companies in the Sapporo transportation area, had planned to begin the
ban four months later, but
the schedule has been brought forward to coincide with the Hokkaido Summit,
which will begin in July.
It will be the first time a hire-car association in Hokkaido has implemented
such a measure.
Smoking will be completely banned in approximately 6,800 taxis in the area,
owned cabs, from July. According to the Sapporo Hired-car Association,
all taxis will display stickers
indicating the ban, and backseat ashtrays will be removed or sealed. Passengers
wishing to smoke
will be provided with portable ashtrays for use outside the cars. In Tokyo,
where the measure was
introduced in January, no problems have been reported. The Tokyo-based
Japan Federation of Taxicab
Associations said that a total smoking ban in taxis was implemented in
21 prefectures as of April 2008.
Japanese Government opposed to the world treaty for tobacco control.
The second world convention, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
(FTCT) was held in
Bangkok, Thailand in 2007. Ten officers from Minsitry of Foreign Affairs,
Ministry of Finance and
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japanese Government attended at
WHO's world convention.
Many representatives from various countries expressed their proposal to
restrict the use of
tobacco in the convention. However, Mr. Ohkuma, Foreign Affairs section
and Mr. Urakawa, Ministry
of Finance section of Japanese Government opposed the essentials of the
treaty to inhibit the
Fortunately, this kind of negative attitude of Japanese Government was
not accepted by other
countries, and the international proposal to control tobacco to protect
people from an adverse
effect caused by tobacco products was passed in its original form with
little amendment to the
world convention in Bangkok. This draft included a total smoking ban in
the public transportation.
Source: A report by an attendant at the 2007 World Convention for Tobacco
Department of Health, Labor and Welfare denied a countrywide total smoking
ban in Japan.
Accordance to the agreement of the World Health Organization Framework
Convention on Tobacco
Control, all signatory nations, including Japan, are required to ban smoking
in all enclosed public
places by February 2010. However, Ministry of Health, Laborand Welfare
of Japan still ignores the
world treaty. The man in command of tobacco control said that 'We do not
follow the world treaty
by WHO, because they cannot enforce a carpet smoking ban to Japanese society.'
Junichiro Mori, Department of Health, Labor and Welfare denied a total
smoking ban in restaurants,
and other indoor public places, since we made separate smoking and non-smoking
sections in half
of our work places. He said to Yomiuri Shimbun in November, 2008.
Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, November 8, 2008
Department of Health(I$(BLabor and Welfare announced to recommend a total smoking
ban in a public indoor space:
$B!!!!!!(Bhowever, it watered down to provide a smoking space in a room.
Smoking ban was adopted over-all Tokyo's Taxis.
A taxi in Shinjuku district,Tokyo
Wakayama becomes the last prefecture to ban smoking in taxis.
A total ban on smoking in taxis took place in January 2011, making it the
last prefecture in Jaoan to do so.
The ban covers 1,745 taxis run by 80 firms plus 66 owner-driven cabs, following
similar moves in all other
prefectures except Hokkaido and Nagasaki, where smoking bans are being
imposed zone by zone,
according to the Taxi Associations. The Wakayama taxi association was late
in restriction of smoking
inside of taxi, because of fears that such a move would eliminate customers,
and considered separating
cars into smoker-friendly and smoke-free ones before deciding on a total
Source: Kyodo January 5, 2011
$B!z(BThis Web site is link-free.
This information was provided by the Smokefree Hotel and Travel.
The article was written and photographs were taken by Dr. J. Miyamoto,
in May 2007,
and last revised in January 2011, by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D., PhD.