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Cablegate: Japan Incsr Part I

VZCZCXRO8382
PP RUEHCN RUEHDBU RUEHDT RUEHGH RUEHKW RUEHPB RUEHVC
DE RUEHKO #5364/01 3330126
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 290126Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9834
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNNAR/VIENNA NARCOTICS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA PRIORITY 4626
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA PRIORITY 3402
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA PRIORITY 7029
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE PRIORITY 8292
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO PRIORITY 5288
RHMFIUU/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNB/JIATF WEST PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEABND/DEA DISTRICT OFFICE HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 005364

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR INL - JOHN LYLE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR JA
SUBJECT: JAPAN INCSR PART I

REF: STATE 136782

TOKYO 00005364 001.2 OF 003


I. Summary

1. Japan's efforts to fight drug trafficking comply with
international standards; Japan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug
Convention. Japan cooperates with other countries in
intelligence sharing and law enforcement. Methamphetamine
abuse remains the biggest challenge to Japanese antinarcotics
efforts, marijuana use is widespread and MDMA (Ecstasy)
trafficking has increased significantly. Cocaine use is much
less prevalent but still significant. According to Japanese
authorities, all illegal drugs consumed in Japan are imported
from overseas, usually by Japanese or foreign organized crime
syndicates. In spite of legal and bureaucratic obstacles,
Japanese law enforcement officials are becoming more
proactive in addressing the Japan's illegal drug distribution
problem. Japanese Police have conducted several complex drug
investigations during 2007, both independently and in
cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) Tokyo.

II. Status of Country

2. Japan is one of the largest markets for methamphetamine
in Asia. A significant source of income for Japanese
organized crime syndicates, over 80 percent of all drug
arrests in Japan involve methamphetamine. MDMA is also a
significant problem in Japan; over 1 million Ecstasy tablets
had been seized by police as of November 2007, and officials
say that they expect MDMA abuse to increase. Marijuana use
has also grown steadily in Japan since 2000. Japanese
authorities discovered their first domestic commercial
marijuana "indoor grow" operation in 2007. Japan is not a
significant producer of narcotics. The Ministry of Health,
Labor and Welfare strictly controls some licit cultivation of
opium poppies, coca plants, and cannabis for research.
According to DEA and the National Police Agency, there is no
evidence that methamphetamine or any other synthetic drug is
manufactured domestically.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2007

3. Policy Initiatives.
The Headquarters for the Promotion of Measures to Prevent
Drug Abuse, which is part of the Prime Minister's Office
(Kantei), announced the Five-Year Drug Abuse Prevention
Strategy in July 2003. This strategy includes measures to
increase cooperation and information sharing among Japanese
agencies and between Japanese and foreign law enforcement
officials, promotes greater utilization of advanced
investigative techniques against organized crime syndicates,
and mandates programs to raise awareness about the dangers of
drug abuse. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare added
30 more drugs to its list of controlled substances in 2006
with plans to add three more in 2008.

4. Law Enforcement Efforts.
Japanese police are increasingly effective at gathering
intelligence and making arrests in spite of legal and
operational constraints, but their investigations are largely
reactive in nature. Prosecutors do not have the
plea-bargaining tools to motivate the assistance of
co-defendants and co-conspirators in furthering
investigation. Japan also has laws restricting the proactive
use of informants, undercover operations, and controlled
deliveries using a human courier. When laws and circumstances
allow, proactive policing does occur. Although wiretapping
remains infrequent, police are increasingly making use of
legislation that took effect in 2003 authorizing the use of
telephone intercepts. In addition, officials maintained
detailed records of Japan-based drug trafficking, organized
crime, and international drug trafficking organizations.
Japan regularly shares intelligence with foreign counterparts
and engages in international drug trafficking investigations.


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5. The supply of methamphetamine appears to be on the rise.
The mid-2006 closure of several methamphetamine mega-labs in
Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, combined with
tightened security measures in the Sea of Japan, are believed
to have been responsible for the spike in methamphetamine
prices that lasted until mid-2007. Law enforcement officials
believe that Chinese traffickers using supplies from China
and Canada have now stepped in to fill the gap.
Methamphetamine prices have returned to their May 2006
levels, indicating a significant rebound in supply.

6. After a year of unremarkable interdiction results in
2006, increased efforts by customs officials have produced
dramatic results in 2007. In August 2007 Police and Customs
Officials seized 688,000 MDMA tablets, 155 kg of
methamphetamine, and 280 kg of marijuana from a vessel
originating in Vancouver, Canada. In the first half of 2007,
police had seized 112 kg of methamphetamine, eight times more
than the 14 kg confiscated during the same period in 2006.
More than 1 million tablets of MDMA had already been seized
by November, five times more than in all of 2006. Marijuana
and cannabis resin seizures January - June were 12 kg and 83
kg respectively, approximately the same as the previous year.
Cocaine, heroin, and opium seizures remained roughly at their
2006 levels.

7. Corruption.
There were no reported cases of Japanese officials being
involved in drug-related corruption in Japan in 2007. The
government does not encourage or facilitate the illicit
production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs,
controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from
illegal drug transactions.

8. Agreements and Treaties.
Japan's parliament failed to agree on an anti-conspiracy bill
for the fourth consecutive year. As a result, Japan still
cannot ratify the UN Convention on Transnational Organized
Crime. Japan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the
1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1972
Protocol amending the Single Convention, and the 1971 UN
Convention on Psychotropic Substances. An extradition treaty
is in force between the U.S. and Japan, and a Mutual Legal
Assistance Treaty (MLAT) went into effect in August 2006,
Japan's first MLAT with any country. The MLAT allows Japan's
Ministry of Justice to share information and cooperate
directly with the Department of Justice in connection with
investigations, prosecutions and other proceedings in
criminal matters.

9. Cultivation/Production.
Japan is not a significant cultivator or producer of
controlled substances. The Ministry of Health, Labor, and
Welfare's research cultivation program produces a negligible
amount of narcotic substances purely for research purposes.

10. Drug Flow/Transit.
Authorities believe that methamphetamine smuggled into Japan
originates in the People's Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan,
North Korea, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and
Canada. Drugs other than methamphetamine often come from the
these same source countries, however airport customs
officials have made several recent seizures of cocaine
transiting from the United States, and authorities confirm
that methamphetamine, MDMA, and marijuana are being imported
in large quantities from Canada as well. Most of the MDMA in
Japan originates in either the Netherlands or China.

11. Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction.
Most drug treatment programs are small and are run by private
organizations, but the government also supports the
rehabilitation of addicts at prefectural (regional) centers.
There are a number of government-funded drug awareness
campaigns designed to inform the public about the dangers of
stimulant use, especially among junior and senior high school
students. The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, along

TOKYO 00005364 003.2 OF 003


with prefectural governments and private organizations,
continues to administer national publicity campaigns and to
promote drug education programs at the community level.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

12. Policy Initiatives.
The United States will build on the successes of the last
year by strengthening law enforcement cooperation related to
controlled deliveries and drug-related money-laundering
investigations. Other U.S. objectives include encouraging
more demand reduction programs; supporting increased use of
existing anticrime legislation and advanced investigative
tools against drug traffickers; and promoting greater
involvement from government agencies responsible for
financial transaction oversight.

13. The Road Ahead.
DEA Tokyo will continue to work closely with its Japanese
counterparts to offer support in conducting investigations on
international drug trafficking, money-laundering, and other
crimes. DEA will continue to pursue an aggressive education
and information-sharing program with Japanese law enforcement
agencies to foster knowledge of money laundering
investigations, and their relationship to narcotics
trafficking and terrorist financing.

V. Charts: N/A

VI. Chemical Control

14. The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare uses
licenses to control every step in the flow of trade in
precursor chemicals, including all the substances listed in
Table I and Table II of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In
addition, strict control of distribution channels further
limits diversion into illicit activities. There are two
companies in Japan that refine ephedrine and pseudoephedrine,
chemicals used to treat nasal/breathing problems that are
also essential ingredients in methamphetamine. Government
regulations specify the type and security of storage
facilities as well as inventory, disposal, and accounting
requirements. On-site inspection is used to verify compliance
with these requirements. Japan made it's first-ever seizure
of illicit precursors in October when customs officials
intercepted 168 kg of Pseudoephedrine transiting Japan from
Hong Kong, bound for Mexico.
SCHIEFFER

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