Yikes. I'm glad I stopped smoking. We were just talking yesterday about smoking in Japan.
Gen Kanai
Update on Japan smoking

LA Times - The Land Cigarettes Call Home
In Japan, half of all men smoke, and lung cancer is a leading killer. But then, the government owns 67% of the big tobacco seller.


The Finance Ministry owns 67% of Japan Tobacco, or JT, which until 1985 was a government monopoly. In an era of tight budgets, tobacco contributes $19 billion a year to government coffers in taxes and dividends, making it among the largest revenue sources. The ministry, not health authorities, controls tobacco policy, and promotion of the industry is an explicit national goal.
...
Japan's warning label is among the world's weakest: "Please remember to follow good smoking manners. As smoking might injure your health, please be careful not to overdo it."
...
The greatest source of industry clout is the Tobacco Business Law, one of a string of related measures dating to 1904. The law says the government must own at least 50% of JT in perpetuity and, as a matter of national policy, "promote the healthy development of the tobacco industry and ensure stable revenue in the interest of a sound national economy."
...
In contrast to the Finance Ministry's large tobacco section, the Health Ministry doesn't have a single full-time official working on smoking issues ・even though smoking accounts for the nation's highest level of premature deaths, triple the number of suicides and nine times that of traffic fatalities.
...
The national health budget this year for anti-smoking awareness is $180,000, for a practice that kills 95,000 Japanese a year. By comparison, the budget for the prevention of AIDS, which kills approximately 45 people a year, is $94 million.

Horrific stuff- gruesome. I don't even know where to start pulling it all apart.

11 Comments

Forgetting the economy, this is the most annoying thing in Japan. What can we do about it?

What about a very visible (and easy to copy) icon on our blogs linking to information about the dangers of smoking in Japanese?

I haven't been to Japan yet, but plan to go soon...sounds like it is very much like Europe...smoke smoke smoke everywhere...whilst here in New York the new Mayor Bloomberg is working on banning smoking from all public places, bars, restaurants, even cigar bars!! I look forward to the day I can watch a hockey game at a sports bar without dealing with the smoke!

I'm actually pretty amazed at how far things have come in Tokyo, at least. Most restaurants have non-smoking sections these days.

If you find one that doesn't, here's a trick to try: ask them to move you if someone starts smoking at the next table. I did this once at a Kobeya Kitchen, and it took two waitresses a couple minutes to move everything after consulting with the manager. The offending couple at the next table, to whom I had not directly spoken, looked like they were going to melt into the ground. The restaurant put us in a closed section and didn't seat anyone near us the rest of the meal.

Another tactic is to have an extended discussion with the manager about why they don't have a non-smoking section, or why it's so small, or in the worst part of the restaurant. The point is not to give or receive any information necessarily; the point is to make the manager spend ten minutes in an uncomfortable conversation, ideally in front of other customers.

Great Idea. Let's take people's rights away from them. Let's take their right to bear arms, travel freely within the country, freedom of speech. What's wrong with everyone? Looks like were turning into a bucnh of whinning little babies. Let Big Brother take care of us right??? Move to China then. I live in America because of the Constitution but it looks like it has become something of an antique. You just look at it and go hmmmm that's an old piece of paper. America, the nanny country. Europe here I come...........

Great Idea. Let's take people's rights away from them. Let's take their right to bear arms, travel freely within the country, freedom of speech. What's next, Big Brother telling me what to eat, how many kids I can have? What's wrong with everyone? Looks like were turning into a bucnh of whinning little babies. Let Big Brother take care of us right??? Move to China then. I live in America because of the Constitution but it looks like it has become something of an antique. You just look at it and go hmmmm that's an old piece of paper. America, the nanny country. Europe here I come...........

Mr. Guerro misses the point, its not about government. Its about respecting individual rights. Individuals have a right to smoke, as long as it does not impinge on the rights of others, such as their right to breath unpolluted air. So, smokers do not have a right to sit in a interior public space (such as a restaurant or office) and release smoke into the air, which others would be forced to breath whether they choose to do so or not. It is not a matter for 'Big Brother', it is a matter for all of us as individuals and citizens of a free country to respect our rights. And clean air to breath is a God-given right.

I too am against smoking in public because as point out earlier it violates others' rights.

However, let me ask you one related question. I am from India (though living in the USA), where cows are sacred, and I don't eat cows (or for that matter any animal products.) Now, when I sit in a plane serving meat menu, or stand in the balcony with the family below me barbecuing cow's meat, it is extremely disgusting and makes me sick. I will choose a person smoking next to me anyday over this extremely disgusing smell of burning flesh. However, I doubt the American society is going to ban eating of cows in public.

Is this a case of majority oppression, just like in smoking?

I am delighted to see the global anti-smoking campaign being deployed as an arbitrary litmus test seemingly to satisfy their bearbaiting-like pleasure and to indoctrinate masses to be in line with that mechanical melody tuned from such power media as NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), BBC, and VOA. A few months ago, I smashed a Sony-made shortwave radio, or an exosomatic instrument of the Establishment, with a hammer. The total amount of energy consumed at the construction of a skyscraper of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which seems to be comfortable and looks like a warship in full regalia, enjoying the past benefits of those diesel cars now facing exhaust control regulated by the government, and of energy used for their comfortable air-conditioning, is equal to the total amount of the exhausted. The skyscraper may be regarded as a huge smokstack or an art deco phallus.

Could the edifice of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government be a huge sooting smokestack or a huge malignant tumor or such resulted from the Parkinson's Law? If an architectural design of the rules of perspective to domineer stealthily the masses or not to be recognized because of the largeness were hidden in that art deco phallus, it could be the embodiment of flatterers' flunkyism that roots deeply in viewers' mind much more clouded than by tobacco smoke.

If you search a Japanese keyword "禁煙" meaning antismoking in English with such and such a search engine, you'll have 984,000 hits. Likewise another keyword "都庁爆破", explosion of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, 4,940 hits. In case of "NHK爆破", explosion of NHK (the Japan Broadcasting Corporation) that have hysterically been indoctrinating the masses the antismoking sentiment, unfortunately only 30 hits. Today, I have uploaded to my HP my masterpiece CG picture of the collapse of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government or of Tokyo Anthill.
Best Regards,

Here's a novel idea... let the Japanese run their own damn country!

America is a country of wimps and simps now. Who the hell is the government to tell anyone that owns a private establishment (bar, restaurant, etc.) that they cannot allow legal smoking to take place inside?

And don't give me this 'second-hand smoke' BS. The EU did a study and found that it's basically harmless - but didn't release the report because it didn't 'fit' with what they wanted to brainwash people with.

Get a life!


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I enjoy living in Japan. So much so that I put up with small annoyances, mostly things I have to Read More

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