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Oct 21, 2009

Heisei 20 Non-Smoking Taxi National Compensation Case

Plaintiff filed suit against the government alleging that government's failure to enforce non-smoking policies on taxis violated its constitutional duty to protect people's right to health.  Trial Court denied plaintiff's request.  Plaintiff appealed to Tokyo High Court, which found that government does not have a duty to enforce non-smoking measures on taxis, and denied the request.


Dec 20, 2005

Heisei 16 Non-smoking Taxi Case

Three taxi drivers and 23 taxi passengers sued the government for failure to enforce smoke-free measures on taxis.  Taxi drivers alleged that the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare had the duty to enforce smoke-free regulations against private taxi companies. The Court found that defendant did not have the duty to enforce smoke-free measures against taxi companies, but recognized that smoking in taxis harms the health of drivers and passengers and that taxi companies have a duty to protect the health of its drivers and passengers.  The Court held that the government shall use its executive power to promote the transition to a smoke-free taxi business.  However, the plaintiffs' demands were denied.


Jul 12, 2004

Heisei 11 Edogawa Government Case

Plaintiff filed suit against his employer, Edogawa Ward Government, for breach of its duty to provide a healthy and safe working environment, alleging that his lung disease had been caused by exposure to secondhand smoke in his office.  The plaintiff sued to recover his healthcare costs and sought punitive damages. The defendant argued that when the office building was built, its air filtering system satisfied the requirements of contemporary environmental laws and labor laws and that there was no evidence showing the causation between secondhand smoking and the plaintiff's lung disease. The Court found that the evidence showed no direct causation between secondhand smoking and the plaintiff's lung disease.  The Court, however, found that he defendant's failure to take reasonable measures to help relieve the plaintiff's suffering violated its duty to provide a safe working environment.  The Court denied the plaintiff's demand for healthcare cost recovery and partly granted the plaintiff's demand of punitive damages.


Feb 26, 2004

Heisei 15 Nagoya School Smoking Ban Case

A middle school teacher filed a suit against the city, alleging that its failure to enforce the smoking ban in its public schools violated his right to educate as an educator.  Evidence showed that despite a city ban of smoking in public schools, some staff (including the principal) of the public middle school smoked on campus.  The Court found that the city had violated the plaintiff's right to educate and ordered the city to enforce its own ban, and awarded the plaintiff monetary damage.


Oct 21, 2003

Heisei 15 Tobacco Disease Case

Smokers suffering from respiratory diseases sought: (1) recovery of healthcare costs, tort damages and punitive damages from the government, Japan Tobacco (JTI), and JTI's executives; (2) a ban preventing JTI from advertising and sponsoring public activities; (3) a ban on sales of tobacco products; and (4) an order forcing JTI to place more health warnings on the packages and labels of its products. The court found the evidence presented to show causation between JTI's  activities and the plaintiffs' health problems to be insufficient.  The plaintiffs' requests were denied.


Apr 12, 2002

Heisei 10 Tobacco Ban Case

A group of plaintiffs, including smokers and non-smokers, brought action against Japan Tobacco, Inc (JTI). Plaintiffs alleged that, by manufacturing, importing, and distributing tobacco products, JTI violated their constitutional rights to life and health, and therefore, JTI must refrain from such activities. The plaintiffs also argued that the warning labels on tobacco package could not effectively warn consumers about the risk of smoking, and requested the court to officially warn JTI for harming consumers' health. The Court held that although a long period of smoking can cause health problems and that secondhand smoking had a strong correlation with various diseases, the evidence presented was insufficient to establish causation. The evidence did not prove that JTI's activities caused the plaintiffs' health problems. The Court concluded that plaintiffs had no standing to raise constitutional complaints about JTIs activities and that because of the lack of sufficient causation between JTI's activities and plaintiffs' health problems, there was no ground to issue an official warning against JTI. The plaintiffs' requests were denied.


May 22, 1985

Heisei 1 Tokyo Public Health Institute Case

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