Tokyo's smokers given sanctuary
A Japanese cigarette company has hit back against a smoking ban in parts of central Tokyo by parking a specially designed trailer on the street.
The trailer has enough room for about 20 desperate smokers to light up.
Called the SmoCar, it is being paid for by Japan Tobacco, and the company may install more if it proves popular.
The trailer has been parked outside an office building in Chiyoda ward, where nicotine addicts now face a 2,000 yen ($164) penalty if they smoke in public spaces.
One grateful smoker told Reuters news agency the scheme should be extended to the city's stations.
"I smoke pretty heavily so having this kind of space makes me happy," said 28-year-old Hirokazu Sato.
The smoking ban was introduced last year after Chiyoda officials said residents had complained that smokers were holding their cigarettes close to children's face level.
One in four Japanese smokes. Smoking is popular among high school students, who can easily get hold of cigarettes despite a law banning children from buying them.
Chiyoda, home to Japan's parliament building and the Imperial Palace, became the first local government in Japan to regulate smoking in this way.