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Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Smoking ban on Tokyo's streets
Smokers in Tokyo will soon face fines if they light up in certain busy streets.
Nicotine addicts have a month to kick the habit before risking a 20,000 yen ($164) penalty.
The restrictions are coming into force near crowded stations and other busy areas in the heart of Tokyo's government and business district.
Uniformed patrols are already on the streets to remind people of the new rules, which come into force from 1 November.
As soon as the patrol spots someone smoking they offer them a portable ash tray.
One in four Japanese smoke. Smoking is popular among high school students, who can easily get hold of cigarettes despite a law banning children from buying them.
Non-smokers fed up with getting smoke blown in their faces and by people littering the streets with cigarette butts may welcome the new ban.
But people on the streets of Tokyo on Tuesday were sceptical that the new restrictions would put people off.
"Smokers will smoke no matter where they are," one man, Hiroyoshi Ohtaki, told Reuters news agency. "They will only stop if it causes health problems, not because the area is a no-smoking zone."
Chiyoda, home to Japan's Parliament building and the Imperial Palace, is the first local government in Japan to regulate smoking in this way.
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