Society | Mar 29

Smoking Violations Double in Tokyo

TOKYO, Mar 29 (News On Japan) - As city life rebounds post-pandemic, there's been a noticeable increase in people smoking on the streets. In Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, the number of street smoking violations has doubled from the previous year.

Littering Incidents and Worst-Case Scenarios

Chiyoda Ward enforces a ban on street smoking throughout its jurisdiction.

One man was seen smoking on the street and discarding his cigarette into a bush. Dangerous as the cigarette was still lit, posing a fire hazard. Another man, after being approached by the crew, hastily left the scene, leaving his cigarette in the foliage.

Upon inspection, approximately 30 cigarette butts were found within just 10 meters of bushes, posing risks not only of littering but also of potentially causing injuries to passersby, including children.

The Risks of Discarded Cigarettes

The dangers of such behavior were highlighted by an incident last March, where a discarded cigarette led to a fire outside a convenience store. Although quickly extinguished, it served as a grim reminder of the potential for worst-case scenarios.

Crackdown on Street Smoking

In Tokyo, street smoking rules vary by district, with fines in areas like Chiyoda and Shibuya. This fiscal year, post-pandemic, Chiyoda saw a doubling in violations.

A patrol enforcing these rules was shadowed by a camera crew, highlighting interactions with violators and emphasizing the need for increased awareness among foreigners, who constituted over half of the violations observed in a single day of patrol.

Addressing Foreign Visitors

In areas like Akihabara, famous for its electronics and anime shops, the return of tourists has been accompanied by an uptick in foreign smokers unaware of local regulations, risking fines.

To improve awareness, Chiyoda Ward has initiated efforts such as distributing flyers and placing informational screens in hotels, targeting places frequented by foreign guests to better communicate the district's smoking regulations.

This blend of enforcement and education aims to preserve the cleanliness and safety of public spaces, respecting the health and comfort of all city dwellers and visitors.

Source: ANN


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