Smoke Around the Rising Sun: An American Look at Tobacco Regulation in Japan
Stanford Law and Policy Review, Vol. 8, p. 99, 1997
37 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 12, 2010
From an American perspective, the culture surrounding tobacco use in Japan today seems reminiscent of a generation past. Cigarette smoking is visible virtually everywhere in Japan, and restrictions on smoking, while on the increase, are still few in comparison with the U.S. Japan’s tobacco situation is exceptional among virtually all democratic industrialized nations in that it has the highest percentage of smokers amongst such nations while maintaining the most lax regulatory system.
This article introduces the legal environment of tobacco regulation in Japan and explains how this environment facilitates Japan’s heavy tobacco habit. In pursuing this analysis, this article reviews the Tobacco Industry Law, including how this law fosters ties between the Ministry of Finance and the nation’s tobacco industry. Next, the article considers the failure of Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare to respond to the problem. Finally the article concludes with broader contemplations of the circumstances relating to tobacco in Japan.
This SSRN posting includes an unpublished translation of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan’s Tobacco Action Plan Working Group Report, dated March 29,1995.
Keywords: Japan, Tobacco Control, Smoking, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Smoking Regulation, Japan Tobacco, JT, Japan Tobacco and Salt Public Corporation, JTSPC
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