LANGUAGE
Last updated: September 17th 2019

Regulated Forms of Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship

Domestic TV and radio (including all broadcast media such as satellite and cable)

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The provision in the Guidelines for domestic TV and radio provides that “tobacco will not be advertised, except in cases where it is possible to target only adults.” This is a minor restriction. However, because the Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including tobacco advertising and promotion on domestic TV and radio.

Domestic newspapers and magazines

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The provision in Guidelines for domestic newspapers and magazines provides that “adult readers will be primarily targeted.” This is a minor restriction. However, because the Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including tobacco advertising and promotion in domestic newspapers and magazines.

Other domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflet, flyers, posters, signs (not including print advertising at the point of sale)

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The provision in the Guidelines for domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, posters and signs, provides that “these shall be distributed only to adults, and not in highly public places.” This is a minor restriction. However, because the Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including tobacco advertising and promotion in domestic print media.

International TV and radio (including all broadcast media such as satellite and cable)

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

Regarding TV and radio, the non-binding Guidelines provide that “Tobacco will not be advertised, except in cases where it is possible to target only adults.” It is uncertain whether this provision applies to cross-border TV and radio tobacco advertising and promotion. However, because the Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given for both domestic and international TV and radio advertising and promotion.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all cross-border TV and radio tobacco advertising and promotion, both flowing into and out of Japan.

International newspapers and magazines

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

Regarding newspapers and magazines, the non-binding Guidelines provide that “Adult readers will be primarily targeted.” It is uncertain whether this provision applies to cross-border newspaper and magazine tobacco advertising and promotion. However, because the Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given for both domestic and international newspaper and magazine advertising and promotion.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all cross-border newspaper and magazine tobacco advertising and promotion, both flowing into and out of Japan.

Internet communications

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Internet communications (not sales)

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The provision in the Guidelines for internet communications provides that “tobacco will not be advertised, except in cases where it is possible to target only adults.” This is a minor restriction. However, because the Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including tobacco advertising and promotion in internet communications.

Internet tobacco product sales

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The non-binding Guidelines are silent regarding internet tobacco product sales. However, internet sales are a form of advertising and, regarding internet advertising, the non-binding Guidelines provide: “Tobacco will not be advertised, except in cases where it is possible to target only adults.” This is a minor restriction. However, because the Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, internet sales of tobacco products should be banned as they inherently involve tobacco advertising and promotion.

Outdoor advertising (e.g., billboards, posters)

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The provision in the Guidelines for outdoor advertising provide that “Tobacco advertisements shall not be present in highly public places.” This is a minor restriction. However, because these Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including outdoor tobacco advertising in all places.

Point of sale advertising/promotion

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Point of sale advertising/promotion (other than product displays)

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not specifically address point of sale advertising. However, regarding posters and signs, the Guidelines provide: “Tobacco advertisements shall not be present in highly public places.” Regarding, flyers, catalogs and pamphlets, the Guidelines provide: “These shall be distributed only to adults, and not in highly public places.” Although these provisions may apply to point of sale advertising and promotion, because these Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should all tobacco prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including point of sale advertising and promotion.

Point of sale product display

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address point of sale product display, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status "Allowed" is given.

FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines para. 12 provides: display of tobacco products at points of sale in itself constitutes advertising and promotion. To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including point of sale product display.

Vending machines

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address vending machine, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To meet FCTC Art. 16 and align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco product advertising and promotion, including tobacco product sales by vending machine.

Conventional mail

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not specifically address tobacco advertising and promotion by conventional mail. However, regarding the distribution of flyers, catalogues and pamphlets, the Guidelines state: “These shall be distributed only to adults.” This provision may apply to tobacco advertising and promotion by conventional mail. However, because these Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including by conventional mail.

Telephone and cellular phone

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address tobacco advertising and promotion by telephone and cellular, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including by telephone and mobile phone.

Brand marking on physical structures

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Distinctive words, designs, images, logos, sounds, or colors to promote tobacco products in entertainment venues, retail outlets, on vehicles and equipment, or other physical structures (brand marking on physical structures, other than on tobacco product packaging and labeling and print material)

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address brand marking on physical structures, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including brand marking on physical structures.

Free distribution of tobacco products

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines provide that free samples of tobacco products “shall be distributed only to adults, and not in highly public places.” Because the Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including the distribution of free tobacco products.

Promotions with a tobacco product purchase

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, rewards to consumers in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase (e.g., buy one pack, get one free or, key chains, t-shirts, coupons, points)

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines provide that “sales promotion” - which is interpreted to cover promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, and rewards to consumers in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase - “shall be limited to adults.” Because the Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco product advertising and promotion, including promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, and rewards.

Competitions associated with tobacco products

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Competitions associated with tobacco products or brand names, whether requiring the purchase of a tobacco product or not

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines provide that “sweepstakes campaign” - which is interpreted to cover competitions associated with tobacco products or brand names - “shall be limited to adults.” Because the Guidelines are non-binding, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including competitions associated with tobacco products or brand names.

Direct person to person targeting of individuals

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address tobacco advertising and promotion by direct person to person targeting of individuals, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including direct person to person targeting of individuals.

Brand stretching/trademark diversification

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Non-tobacco products or services using tobacco brand names or carrying a brand logo or other brand indicia (brand stretching)

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address brand stretching, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including brand stretching.

Reverse brand stretching or brand sharing

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Tobacco products or services using non-tobacco brand names (reverse brand stretching or brand sharing)

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address reverse brand stretching, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including reverse brand stretching.

Toys that resemble tobacco products

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address the production or sale of toys that resemble tobacco products, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including the production and sale of toys that resemble tobacco products.

Candy that resembles tobacco products

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address the production or sale of candy that resembles tobacco products, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including the production and sale of candy that resembles tobacco products.

Retailer incentive programs

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Retailer incentive programs (e.g., rewards to retailers for achieving certain sales volume, enhanced displays, etc.) or other payments to encourage them to sell tobacco products

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address retailer incentive programs, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including retailer incentive programs.

Paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film or other media

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film or other media, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film or other media.

Unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in media that does not serve a legitimate purpose

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in TV, film or other media that is not legitimate journalistic, artistic, or academic expression or legitimate social or political commentary

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not address unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in TV, film or other entertainment media, and furthermore, are non-binding. Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in TV, film, or other entertainment media that is not legitimate journalistic, artistic, or academic expression or legitimate social or political commentary.

Tobacco industry sponsorship of events, activities, individuals, organizations or governments

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals or groups (e.g., groups involved in sports, the arts, politics, charitable or welfare, or other activities, or youth smoking prevention programs)

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not specifically address financial or other support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals, groups, or organizations. Further, the Guidelines are non-binding, therefore the regulatory status "Allowed" is given.

However, for such "sponsored events," the Guidelines provide that “contestants and all persons involved must be adults, and events, etc., must be intended mainly for adults.” In addition, such events shall not be broadcast, including internet broadcast, “except where it is technically possible to target only adults.”

Importantly, the Guidelines explicitly state that the Guidelines do not apply to “advertisements that advocate smoking prevention in minors, smoking etiquette, and corporate activities to discourage smoking.”

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals, groups, organizations, or governments.

Publicity of financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry if tobacco sponsorship is not banned

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

Financial or other support or sponsorship is not addressed by the Guidelines and is therefore allowed. Regarding publicity of sponsored events, the Guidelines provide that such events shall not be broadcast, including internet broadcast, “except where it is technically possible to target only adults.” Because the Guidelines are non-binding, the law is interpreted as allowing publicity of financial and other sponsorship (rather than restricting publicity of sponsorship). Therefore, the regulatory status “Allowed” is given.

Furthermore, the Guidelines explicitly state that the Guidelines do not apply to “advertisements that advocate smoking prevention in minors, smoking etiquette, and corporate activities to discourage smoking.”

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals, groups, organizations, or governments, and publicity thereof.

Promotion by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.

Promotion by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about a product's characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions (covering any term, descriptor, trademark, emblem, marketing image, logo, color and figurative, or any other indicia)

Analysis:

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship (APS). Rather, restrictions on APS exist in Japan only by industry self-regulation pursuant to the Tobacco Business Act, which calls on advertisers to make "efforts that their advertising not be excessive," and non-binding guidelines issued pursuant thereto.

The Guidelines do not prohibit promotion by means that are false misleading, deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about the characteristics, health effects, hazard or emissions of tobacco products. The TBA Regulations require that where misleading terms such as “low tar”, “light”, “ultra light” or “mild” are used on tobacco product packaging, language must also be used “which clearly states that no comparisons are being made between” tobacco products “in terms of the ill effects on health resulting from use.” However, this provision does not restrict the use of misleading terms on packaging, but rather, merely requires qualifying language. Therefore, the regulatory status "Allowed" is given.

TTo align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit promotion by means that are false misleading, deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about the characteristics, health effects, hazard or emissions or tobacco products.