Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is contemplating a ban on smoking indoors at restaurants and public facilities in the capital to eliminate the risk of passive smoking and because of inaction on the issue by the central government.

Koike said the anti-smoking pledge will form part of her party's campaign for the Tokyo metropolitan assembly election to be held July 2 and is geared toward holding a clean Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.

“The ordinance (I am considering) is basically modeled on a plan worked out by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare," Koike said in a BS Fuji television program on May 10.

She said steps taken by restaurants and communal places to separate smokers and non-smokers are insufficient and still present a health hazard.

"In principle, I am going to impose the ban on the indoor portions (to prevent secondhand smoking),” Koike said.

While the health ministry is wholly supportive of a smoking ban inside restaurants and public facilities, lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are putting up strong resistance.

The World Health Organization has called on Japan to implement a smoking ban ahead of the Olympic Games.

Koike said the proposed smoking ban will be a plank of her party's election campaign that kicks off June 23. She heads a regional political party called Tomin First no Kai (Tokyo residents first association).

According to sources in Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, a group of the party’s metropolitan assembly members, which is cooperating with Koike’s party for the election, also plans to pledge in its campaign that it will work toward enacting an ordinance to prevent secondhand smoking.

Earlier this year, the health ministry worked out revisions to the Health Promotion Law, which would ban smoking not only in schools and medical institutions but also restaurants, excluding small facilities, in principle.

However, whether the revisions can pass the Diet remains unclear due to strong opposition among LDP lawmakers.