To anti-smoking advocates, Japan is a parallel universe. The Ministry of Health and Welfare has little voice in Japan’s tobacco policy, which obsesses over smoker etiquette rather than health concerns. The industry regulator is the Ministry of Finance, which sees no conflict of interest in its role as collector of Japan’s annual US$20 billion in cigarette taxes and its shareholding in the country’s largest cigarette maker, Japan Tobacco.
Hardly surprising, then, Japan has one of...
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