This sign, with its bad English, appeared in the downstairs area of my apartment block recently and I have to say it took me by surprise. On the other hand it didn’t surprise me too much as this is Japan. By that, I mean that here it is appearances which matter more than anything.
Whilst the world’s major cities have already banned smoking in bars and restaurants Tokyo has done very little beyond introducing a few separate sections for non-smokers. Instead, they are cracking down on people smoking in the streets which has never really bothered me too much as the smoke gets carried away by the wind.
As the first photo shows, my agency would rather people fill their apartments with smoke rather than doing it in the common areas. Given that the Japanese government is a major shareholder in ‘Japan Tobacco’ a crackdown on smoking indoors seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. Personally, I am surprised Japanese people tolerate it so much in bars given that they are seemingly always going on about the importance of food and how delicious it is. I guess they must like that added smokey taste.