Smokers and even non-smokers are up in arms over a suggested by-law that many claim “goes too far.”
Next month the election for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly will be held and each party is hoping to carve as big a piece of the parliamentary pie as possible to help shape Tokyo through these very important next four years.
One major issue that every party has taken a stance on is smoking. With the 2020 Olympics fast approaching, every candidate is pushing hard for stricter regulations on tobacco use. But according to a report from Asahi Shimbun, current Governor Yuriko Koike’s Metro Residents First Party appears to be pushing the hardest.
The party is reportedly considering a by-law to prohibit smoking in private homes and cars that have children inside in order to protect them from the second-hand smoke. Although everyone can agree with the reasoning behind the restriction, it still has a chilling sense of government overreach about it.
Reactions online have been less than kind.
“Are they stupid?”
“That’s gong too far.”
“Great. So I guess this means they fixed the whole ‘relocation of the Tsukiji Fish Market to a toxic waste dump’ problem then?”
“They can’t even protect children from abuse, how are they going to do this?”
“Leave us alone.”
“I must have missed it when Tokyo became a dictatorship.”
Many comments from non-smokers were also critical of the by-law saying that if the Metro Residents First Party was willing to go that far, why not just ban the sale of tobacco outright? Others questioned how Koike’s party could enact such a bold by-law with the major problems of the Tsukiji market relocation and Olympic Games’ finances hanging over their heads.
However, even without those political crises to deal with, such a by-law seems impractical and even if passed would probably be relegated to one of those offenses that no one cares about like jaywalking or a forgotten arcane crime like going to Antarctica unannounced.
But even if this by-law never sees the light of day, it certainly is an indication of the rapid pace that Japan is moving toward becoming a smoke-free society.