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Public smoking bans to increase in Naha

Date Posted: 2008-08-18

Naha City, which already has bans on smoking in parks or on public streets and roadways, says it will expand the number of no smoking areas in the capitol city.
“We would like to make ours a clean city for children, aged people and tourists, so they have a healthy lifestyle,” the Naha City Office says, “and we want to have a clean environment that will be greatly enlightened by the no smoking actions.” The government office concedes there will likely “be a lot of problems, too”, as it figures how to apply penalties for violations.
The new no smoking zones, effective next April 1st, will include Kokusai Street, area in front of Naha City offices, at bus terminals, on Okiei Street, and at the Prefecture Hall Monorail station. That’s only the beginning, city officials say, and violators will be given citations and fines starting at ¥2,000.
Fines will be levied against people who smoke while walking, riding bicycles, or riding together behind bicycles. Naha City will hold public hearings to determine what other areas should be included as no smoking zones.
A public relations blitz is being prepared to alert people to the no smoking areas, and the penalties for violating the new ordinances. Posters and signs will be placed throughout the new no smoking zones.

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