Despite its owing health record in other areas, Japan is a global straggler in tobacco control and does not meet values set by the World Health Organization Framework Agreement on Tobacco Control (FCTC), particularly for smoke-free public spaces. Olympic Hospitality fan can be booked Olympic hospitality online which makes you comfortable to watch the Tokyo Olympics Games.
The widespread public exposure to second-hand smoke in Japan will come into sharp focus during July and August 2020, when the eyes of the world turn to Tokyo Olympics as the host city of the next Olympic 2020 Games.
In 2010, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed with WHO to promote a smoke-free Olympics 2020 and Paralympics (IOC’s standards). From 2008, every Olympic 2020 and Paralympic host site has had smoke-free regulations. In anticipation of the Olympic 2020 games, there has been a nationwide push in Japan for smoke-free policy.
The former Minister for Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, Yasuhisa Shiozaki, expressed his support for a smoke-free policy by proposing new legislation in 2016 to prohibit indoor smoking in all public spaces, including restaurants and bars. The policy was strongly supported by the general public, patient groups, academia, and practicing health professionals. Though, Shiozaki and other smoke-free policy groups faced fierce opposition from pro-smoking politicians. As a result, the legislation was not submitted to the Diet in 2017.
In March 2018, the Cabinet endorsed an alternative, watered-down smoke-free bill, which was passed in the Upper House on July 2018 and will be implemented in April 2020 before the start of the Olympic 2020 games. This licenses small eateries and bars with floor space up to 100m2 to allow indoor smoking. Nearly 55% of restaurants/bars in Tokyo are below this threshold and will be exempt from being completely smoke-free.
In order to ascertain Diet members’ perspectives regarding the smoke-free bill, we conducted a survey of Japanese parliament members. Altogether 707 Diet members were sent surveys in February 2018. A total of 125 responded; a response rate of less than 18%. The response rate varied significantly by party: only 7.9% (32 of 407) of the members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) returned the questionnaire, compared to 34% (70 of 206) opposition party members.
The questionnaire also addressed the perspectives of Diet members on what kind of second-hand smoke measures should be applied to meet the IOC’s standards on the premises of public facilities and other places that many people may visit during the Olympic 2020 games. Somewhat more than 34% decided with smoke-free policies either on-site or inside, but 48% indicated support for an option authorizing the installation of smoking rooms.
Given the low response rate to the survey, at 17.7% overall, and 7.9% for the ruling LDP, it is unlikely that those who did respond represented the wider population of Diet members.
Endorsing an open debate on the smoke-free bill, and letting a free vote would be a significant step forward. Applying a comprehensive and real smoke-free bill would sign a new commitment from the Japanese government to defend its own citizens.
It is historical time to cast aside Japan’s miserable tobacco control record and fully tool its duties under the WHO FCTC. Apart from the crucial need to protect Japanese citizens, the forthcoming Olympic 2020 and Paralympic Games would be a chance to showcase fully smoke-free, impeccable Japanese Olympic hospitality as it hosts athletes and visitors from around the world.
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