Yokohama City proposes smoking ban at its parks

Officials of Yokohama City, near Tokyo, have proposed a ban on smoking at all roughly 2,700 parks they manage, including popular tourist spots.

The plan presented to the municipal assembly on Monday calls for revising an ordinance to add smoking to the list of prohibited acts at parks.

Violators would face fines of 50,000 yen, or about 330 dollars.

The locations managed by the city include Yamashita Park and Harbor View Park, both near the port of Yokohama and frequented by families and tourists.

City assembly members pointed out the need to consider who should have the authority to identify violations and make decisions on warnings and penalties.

They also said that if the ban is introduced, they would need to raise awareness of it to prevent conflicts between smokers and non-smokers.

The city plans to gather public feedback for about a month from April before submitting a bill for revising the ordinance to the city assembly in September.

Officials hope to introduce the ban in April next year.