Japan bans indoor smoking in public spaces
NHK -- Jul 01
A new Japanese law took effect on Monday to prevent the spread of passive smoke, and bans indoor smoking in public spaces.

The revised health promotion law is aimed at reducing the health risks posed by the inhalation of second-hand smoke.

The prohibited spaces include schools, hospitals and offices of the central and local governments. The law allows such entities to set up outdoor smoking areas on their premises, and post signs indicating where smoking is allowed.

Managers of such facilities will face fines up to the equivalent of about 4,600 dollars if they fail to fully comply with the new rules.

People will be fined up to 2,700 dollars if they smoke in prohibited areas, and ignore warnings from those in charge of the facilities.

Smoking will be prohibited at eating establishments and corporations starting from April 1 next year.

News source: NHK
Aug 08
With a rising number of sexual violence cases on and off campus in recent times, some university students have begun signature-collection campaigns to petition their schools to deliver safer learning environments. (Japan Times)
Aug 03
The overwhelming majority of middle and high school students in Japan are required to wear uniforms, and so it’s no surprise that Japanese schools tend to have lots of other rules governing students’ personal appearance. One that’s been attracting controversy in recent years, though, is a requirement at some schools that all students must have black hair. (Japan Today)
Aug 02
Third-year students in Japan’s junior high schools struggle with speaking and writing in English, according to the results of this year’s nationwide achievement test conducted by the education ministry. (Japan Times)
Aug 02
Japan’s Immigration Services Agency said Thursday it will toughen eligibility standards for Japanese-language schools that can accept foreign students, effective Sept. 1. (Japan Times)
Jul 31
The average life expectancy reached a record high for both male and female Japanese people last year. It was more than five years longer than in 1989, the year the three-decade Japanese era of Heisei started. (NHK)
Jul 17
School-related matters led to more suicides last year among youth aged between 10 and 19 than any other issue, the government said Tuesday in its annual paper on the topic. (Japan Times)
Jul 15
Japan's Princess Mako has visited the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru and a village that once had a Japanese immigrant as its chief. (NHK)
Jul 11
The population of Japanese nationals has fallen for the 10th straight year, while the ratio of foreign residents topped 2 percent for the first time. (NHK)
Jul 08
A log boat set off from Taiwan on Sunday on a journey of more than 200 kilometers to Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan. (NHK)
Jul 07
A male junior high school student died Saturday after being stabbed the previous day by a fellow student in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, according to police. (Japan Today)