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Upper house panel OK’s bill on passive smoking

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A House of Councillors committee on Thursday passed a bill to strengthen measures against passive smoking in public places.

The health affairs committee of the upper house approved the bill by a majority vote with support mainly from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.

The bill, adopted by the lower chamber last month, is expected to become law by passing the upper house during the current Diet session ending July 22.

Measures included in the bill will be implemented in April 2020, ahead of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo that year.

Under the bill, Japan will prohibit in principle smoking inside facilities that many people use.

At restaurants and bars, smoking will be allowed only inside establishments that have customer-seating space of up to 100 square meters and meet other criteria, if they display smoking-permitted signs.

Smoking will be banned in principle within the premises of schools, hospitals and administrative office buildings. But owners will be allowed to set up outdoor smoking spaces at such buildings if preset criteria are met.Speech

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