LANGUAGE

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.