Smoke-free beaches open in Japan

Zushi, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture southwest of Tokyo, became the first beach Friday to open its bathing season with Gov. Shigefumi Matsuzawa attended the opening ceremony. It is Japan’s first prefecture to enact a basic smoking ban on its beaches. The ordinance went effective in May.

Five roofed smoking areas have been set up on the beaches and will be patrolled by volunteers asking smokers to use them.

A similar ordinance is in place in Wakayama Prefecture’s town of Shirahama, but Kanagawa was the first among Japan’s 47 prefectures to enact such a rule.

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