**Tokyo:** Tokyo on Wednesday approved an anti-smoking ordinance that will ban smoking in most bars and restaurants in the capital from April 2020 and is stricter than the bill designed by the central government with a view to the Olympic Games.
The ordinance, passed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, prohibits smoking in all bars and restaurants that hire employees — this would exclude businesses run solely by the owner — and regardless of their size, which covers 84 per cent of the bars and restaurants in the capital, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The new bans also covers smoking inside hospitals and administrative organizations but allows them to set up outdoor smoking areas unlike in schools, where smoking will be banned inside as well as in outdoor spaces.
Japan is one of the most permissive developed countries when it comes to smoking and has some of the worst anti-smoking regulations in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
The country’s lax regulation allows smoking in bars and restaurants without having to establish separate smoking areas although it bans smoking on the street except in designated areas.