Rising Foreign Arrest in Rapid Increase of Illegal Smuggling of Drugs in Japan Due to Corona | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Rising Foreign Arrest in Rapid Increase of Illegal Smuggling of Drugs in Japan Due to Corona

Nonfiction writer Kota Ishii takes a closer look at the depths of Japanese society!

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600 kilograms of illegal drugs seized in Aichi Prefecture in September 2005 (Image: Kyodo News)

Do you know that since the spread of the new coronavirus, there has been a series of arrests of foreigners living in Japan for smuggling illegal drugs such as methamphetamine?

Last year November In November of last year, five Vietnamese and Brazilian nationals living in Japan were arrested on suspicion of smuggling methamphetamine.

The five were arrested on suspicion of smuggling methamphetamine from Turkey in two shipping containers containing 24,000 cardboard boxes. 4,000 They imported a total of 4 tons of charcoal in 24,000 cardboard boxes in two shipping containers from Turkey. When it was examined, it was discovered that the charcoal had been kneaded with methamphetamine.

Also, in the same year December In December of the same year, five Brazilian nationals, a man and a woman, were arrested on suspicion of smuggling methamphetamine. 20s 20s to They were in their 20s to 30s. They were in their twenties and thirties, and all of them were foreigners living in Japan. They had a total of1.2 They were arrested not only for smuggling a total of two kilograms of methamphetamine, but also for using methamphetamine and possessing marijuana.

There have been many other cases in which foreigners living in Japan have been arrested for being involved in illegal drug smuggling.

Why are the incidents of smuggling by foreigners living in Japan increasing?

To begin with, there is a deep relationship between foreigners living in Japan and illegal drug smuggling. The following are some of the cases involving foreigners living in Japan. There is a person in his 60s. There is a man in his 60s who belongs to a wide-area gang in Tokyo. He was born and raised in a family where his father was also a gangster, so he knows a lot about illegal drug smuggling.

He tells us the following.

I heard that in the past, foreigners living in Japan were poor, so they established unofficial channels to exchange various things with their home countries. They would send letters, order medical supplies, and buy goods for sale. I heard that there were many people who did business with them.

Some of the yakuza who became yakuza in Japan used this route to buy drugs. My father, who was a yakuza, dealt not only in drugs but also in alcohol, cigarettes, food, and many other things. Also, people who were on the continent during the war were fluent in Chinese and Russian, so there were Japanese yakuza who made money by trading with these people.

Unofficial routes opened up

In the past, Japan did not necessarily have proper diplomatic relations with Asian countries. Therefore, foreigners living in Japan cultivated unofficial routes and did business by secretly exporting and importing goods. It is likely that these routes were used by some gangs to deal in illegal drugs.

As the times changed, people born after the war also became involved in illegal drug smuggling. However, in order to go abroad and buy illegal drugs, one needs to have a certain amount of connections and the ability to communicate in a foreign language. In this sense, people who were born and raised in Japan, as well as some Japanese who were born abroad and came to Japan, boat people, and Japanese Americans were sometimes involved in this business.

As one person put it

The man said, “The Since the 1990s From the 1990s onward, new foreigners who came to Japan became involved in drug use. There were many people from China, Colombia, and South America. There were also a lot of Iranians. They would bring drugs to Japan, and the yakuza would buy them from them and distribute them to the end dealers. Of course, the yakuza sometimes smuggled in drugs themselves, but they risked arrest, so if you want to be safe, it’s better to buy from foreigners.

It was right around this time that the number of Chinese mafia and South American criminal groups began to increase. It was also around the same time that the number of Iranians who were doing manual labor began to increase. At the same time, Iranians who had been doing manual labor lost their jobs when the bubble economy burst, and some of them became delinquent. They were in debt when they came to Japan, and in an effort to make a profit, they turned to smuggling and trafficking of illegal drugs using their connections to their home countries.

It is said that the reason why Japanese gangs have become less likely to carry their own drugs has to do with the Anti-Violence Law and the Anti-Violence Ordinance. Since the 1990s Since the 1990s, various laws and ordinances have been enacted in Japan to clamp down on gangs, and the surveillance of individual gangs has become stricter.

As a result, it is easy for gang members to be spotted even if they just go abroad and come back, not to mention if they carry them themselves. Therefore, it is better to buy from foreigners, even if you have to pay a certain amount of commission for smuggling, than to deal with them directly.

The person I mentioned earlier said

There are big groups of foreigners and small ones. The big ones carry dozens of kilos of goods by boat or disguised in their luggage. In some cases, they team up with the yakuza.

Smaller groups, on the other hand, use couriers to smuggle the goods by themselves. They use poor locals to hide or swallow the goods in their luggage to get them into Japan. They can only carry about one to three kilograms.

A number of foreigners have been arrested at Japanese airports on charges of smuggling illegal drugs. However, most of them were foreigners living abroad who came to Japan on the pretext of traveling.

However, as we saw at the beginning of this article, the number of smuggling by foreigners living in Japan who have a place of residence in Japan is increasing. Why is this?

The man mentioned above said, “The reason is Corona.

The reason is Corona. The reason is Corona. Since 2008, the number of foreigners coming to Japan for travel purposes has decreased dramatically. So, if you come to Japan as a tourist, there is a higher possibility that you will be suspected by customs and thoroughly searched. This has made it more difficult to catch “couriers” in foreign countries and have them smuggle in goods.

That’s why more and more foreigners living in Japan are being used. They have been living in Japan for many years, and many of them have jobs, so they are less susceptible to suspicion. That’s why we’re using them more and more.

Two cases of foreigners being used

There are two main types of cases where foreigners in Japan are used.

One is the use of foreigners who have run out of jobs in Japan and have become delinquent. Some of them jump at the chance to get a large sum of money, while others have something to hide and are forced to do the bidding of the organization. These are the people who are involved in smuggling.

The second method is to involve foreign residents in Japan who are doing business in Japan. They either call on those who have been doing business illegally or those who are in financial crisis due to the Corona disaster to help them. Many of them are in the business of importing and exporting, so they can blend in with the merchandise.

The man said.

The Corona disaster has changed the world of drugs. From now on, more and more foreigners living in Japan will be caught, and more and more Japanese will be caught as couriers. If that happens, the unemployed and the like will be targeted more than ever before.

Also, more and more drugs are being produced in Japan instead of being imported from abroad. Marijuana was and still is the main type of cultivation, but recently, concentrated marijuana liquid is becoming popular. These can be made domestically and have a much different effect than regular marijuana, so now there is no shortage of customers.

It is a fact that marijuana is on the rise in Japan, and the number of arrests has been on the rise for seven years in a row.

In fiscal year 2008 In fiscal year 2008, the number of criminal arrests for methamphetamine smuggling was 73 cases. This is a decrease from the previous year. This is a decrease from the previous year. On the other hand, the number of arrests for cultivation of marijuana has been increasing in recent years. 232 The number of arrests for marijuana cultivation, on the other hand, has increased in recent years, reaching 232. This alone shows that the number of foreigners smuggling marijuana by air is decreasing and the number of Japanese growing marijuana in Japan is increasing. Forty percent of these marijuana arrests are made by 10 ~20 20s Forty percent of the marijuana arrests are made by young people in their teens and twenties.

When these facts are revealed, it is easy to conclude that the police should arrest the delinquent foreigners and send them back to their home countries, or that they should round up the Japanese organizations.

However, the cause that drives some foreign residents to commit crimes is the social structure that pushes them to that point. Also, the business exists because there are Japanese people who want to buy illegal drugs in Japan.

When you think about it, you can see that it is not a problem that can be solved by simply arresting and deporting them. We need to change the very structure that makes foreigners feel trapped and makes young Japanese turn to illegal drugs.

In the age of after-coronas, what should we do about the problem of illegal drugs in Japan? In this age of after-coronas, what should be done about the problem of illegal drugs in Japan? This is a question that needs to be urgently considered as the use of illegal drugs by young people increases.

  • Interview and text by Kota Ishii

    Born in Tokyo in 1977. Nonfiction writer. Graduated from Nihon University College of Art. He is active in reporting and writing about culture, history, and medicine in Japan and abroad. His books include "The House of 'Demons': Parents Who Kill Their Own Children," "Forty-three Killing Intentions: The Depths of the Kawasaki Jr. 1 Boys' Murder Case," "Rental Child," "Kinship Murder," and "Social Map of Disparity and Division.

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