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Tokyo Olympic CEO reminds all: Cannabis is banned in Japan

Toshiro Muto, CEO of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, listens to questions from the media during a news conference on June 11, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

TOKYO (AP) -- Cannabis has been legalized in some parts of the world. But the chief executive of next year's Tokyo Olympics has reminded potential visitors to the games that the substance is against the law in Japan.

Toshiro Muto of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee said at a news conference on Tuesday that at least one member of the executive board brought up the issue at a meeting.

"There are countries and some regions around the world that have relaxed rules recently," Muto said, speaking through an interpreter. "Unfortunately, the use of cannabis constitutes a violation of law and that needs to be thoroughly communicated."

Muto said the issue was not on the executive board's formal agenda but came from a concerned member.

"The comment from the member is that it's important that we inform all the participants that use of cannabis is prohibited by law in Japan."

Cannabis is among banned substances listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency for athletes at next year's Tokyo Olympics.

Muto said that Japan would be strong in enforcing anti-doping measure at the games, which open next July.

Japan bans cannabis, but it does have relatively lax anti-smoking rules that allows smoking in many Tokyo restaurants and bars.

However, Tokyo Olympic organizers have enacted tougher anti-smoking rules for games venues. Smoking and the use of vaping devices will be banned at all indoor and outdoor Olympic and Paralympic venues, plus within all perimeter areas of the Tokyo Games.

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