Last time I was here in Tokyo in 2005 I realized people smoked lots. I mean it was already not allowed to do it everywhere but I could see lots of smokers. Suddenly going back three years later to Tokyo I see there´s a new law that doesn´t allow to smoke in the streets, only in certain points (you can get mad looking for one).
It all began in October 2002 in Chiyoda district to protect passive smokers and maybe as a way to create a public opinion about, to see how Tokyo people dealed with it. So then this law extended to the rest of the city and in 2004 was rude to smoke in the street and you could be fined even with 20.000 yenes fee. BUT now I´m really feeling the contradiction of this: first is good for passive smokers, as it should be, second is good to see the streets as clean as it corresponds, third is good for a healthy life. In the other hand sometimes I feel like I´m a kind of bad person smoking in public, I hide, even though Kanako´s friend bought me an special pocket astray just in case a police stops me in the street. Almost everywhere you can see images on the floor about 40 centimeters diameter: forbidden smoke. Of course I saw some people smoking in public, 99% of the times in the special places adecuated to it.
It is not a critic itself. It is ok if it is good for the majority, but in my case I arrived here knowing that I didn´t wanted to smoke anymore. Once I saw that it was more extreme than I expected, forbidden almost everywhere, I began to panic so I decided to smoke. No big deal though feeling you are doing something naugthy and looking for a place where to leave the butt. But I´m wondering if there were not such a law I was smoking or not. Anyway, too many people in here and it is good to know about the respect for the others in spite we are talking about a public space. Maybe someday smoking in public is like getting naked. Who knows! I´ll ask my lunges what they think about it.