Anti-smoking bill leaves details of size of restaurants exempted from ban undecided

The government had originally planned to submit a relevant bill to revise the Health Promotion Law to the previous ordinary Diet session that ended in June but failed to do so due to discord between the health ministry and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party over how strictly an indoor smoking ban should be applied to restaurants.

The government and the LDP have come under heavy pressure from the tobacco and restaurant industries, which have expressed reservations about stronger anti-smoking measures.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has insisted that indoor smoking at restaurants should basically be banned at all restaurants, excluding small bars and other establishments with a floor space of up to 30 sq. meters, while the LDP preferred looser regulation.

The LDP, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, supports legislation that will allow indoor smoking at restaurants with a floor space of up to 150 sq. meters as long as they put up a sign that smoking is allowed inside the restaurants or that smoking is allowed only in a separate area within the establishments.

Nine people died and around 30 sustained injuries while engaging in leisure activities at sea, on mountains or at other spots Sunday, when people were taking advantage of the Bon holiday season, according to a tally compiled by Kyodo News. (Japan Times)

The government has drafted legislation for regulating passive smoking that will ban smoking basically at all frequently used public spaces, but left undecided how small restaurants should be for the exception to the rule, sources close to the matter said Sunday. (Japan Times)

A 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault after he beat a 55-year-old man unconsciousness following a dispute outside JR Kameido Station in Tokyo’s Koto Ward. (Japan Today)

One man was killed and another was seriously injured over the weekend when they were hit by a roller coaster that was being tested at Kijima Kogen Park in Oita Prefecture, the police said. (Japan Times)

Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a male employee of All Nippon Airways (ANA) for allegedly molesting a teenage girl on a train in Kawasaki City last year, reports NHK. (

Shinnosuke Abe, a key member on seven pennant-winning Yomiuri Giants teams and the Central League’s 2012 MVP, reached Japan’s iconic 2,000-hit milestone on Sunday. (Japan Times)

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 46-year-old driver for a tour bus company in Aichi Prefecture who has admitted to using illegal drugs for more than two decades, reports Nippon News Network. (

Over a million performers and spectators will flock to a western Japanese city this weekend for one of the country’s largest dance festivals, after organizers stepped up efforts to accommodate foreign visitors. (Japan Today)

Three workmen fell to their deaths at a building construction site in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district on Friday. (Japan Today)

Police in Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, are looking for a man who stole a bag from a 69-year-old woman in a wheelchair in an elevator at the woman’s municipal apartment building. (Japan Today)

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