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Japan, 2 other Asian nations warn citizens not to use marijuana in Canada

148 Comments
By KEN MORITSUGU

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148 Comments

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In Japan it is illegal to smoke marijuana even overseas. If you come back and they test you (it happened to Japanese two friends of mine that went to Amsterdam and returned), you will get held at the airport coming back in.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

This is hard to comment on because it's so stupid. You go to a different country follow the laws in that democratic country but you could be punished by a country thousands of miles away for breaking their laws, rediculas!

43 ( +51 / -8 )

Even in a place where marijuana is legalized, if our citizens smoke, purchase, possess or deliver marijuana, it's a criminal act, so they will be punished," the embassy in Canada tweeted. "Please be careful."

Right and where are the warnings to older teens who can not drink in Japan but can in countries where the legal age is 18?

This is hypocritical, and highly suspect.

In effect it is a scare tactic by the government, as they think the sheeples will automatically listen and obey!

40 ( +44 / -4 )

"Even in a place where marijuana is legalized, if our citizens smoke, purchase, possess or deliver marijuana, it's a criminal act, so they will be punished," the embassy in Canada tweeted. "Please be careful."

Possession and distribution is one thing, but the government can't bar people from taking a natural plant from the earth and consuming it. The connection between Earth, nature and man is inviolable.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

So basically they're saying.... "we own you, no matter where you are". I have to say, I definitely have a problem with that. Will the government get you a lawyer in a foreign country when a Japanese Citizen commits a crime there that is not a crime in Japan?

31 ( +33 / -2 )

Legal doesn’t mean acceptance. In Japan we are taught to avoid it. So even going abroad we should respect the things we are taught and be a good example for others. Manners and discipline no matter where you are. Each nation has it’s own culture. Most outsiders wouldn’t understand.

-63 ( +8 / -71 )

This is absurd on many levels, so where to begin?

People must follow the laws of the country they are in. People do not follow the laws of their home country regardless of where they are. You have to put aside whether or not you agree with the legalization of marijuana. It is, in fact, irrelevant.

As someone else said, would the American government start arresting 20 year old foreign students returning from Japan for having drunk alcohol?

If the laws of the home country take precedence, well, can Canadians on ski trips to Hokkaido now smoke marijuana as they wish while in Japan? After all, that is the law of their home country. I know that sounds absurd, but that is the point.

Will there now be urine tests administered in at customs at Narita and considering marijuana use spans across every demographic, how could you possibly decide who to test?

I’d love to say something more erudite and insightful, but give me a break will need to suffice.

32 ( +34 / -2 )

Most outsiders wouldn’t understand.

LOL

42 ( +47 / -5 )

In Japan it is illegal to smoke marijuana even overseas. If you come back and they test you (it happened to Japanese two friends of mine that went to Amsterdam and returned), you will get held at the airport coming back in.

Pray tell, first off, getting "tested" at the airport and they got nailed? I'm sorry but there has to be a hell of a lot more to this story than just to random friends getting pulled out of a customs line of people coming off a flight from Amsterdam.

If this is true, the customs people and airport must be pretty damn busy after every flight from there!

I wonder if they do the same for folks flying from Denver to Naritia too!

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Legal doesn’t mean acceptance. In Japan we are taught to avoid it. So even going abroad we should respect the things we are taught and be a good example for others. Manners and discipline no matter where you are. Each nation has it’s own culture. Most outsiders wouldn’t understand.

In Japan no kid is "taught" to avoid drugs! There is literally NO drug education in school!

Respect things you are taught and be a good example...that's common sense, and it isnt just limited to Japanese!

Most outsiders wouldnt understand?

Yeah right, they wouldn't understand how anyone on earth could say something like this with a straight face!

Please explain then why do far too many Japanese, when they travel overseas, act like idiots? Oh right they do the same at home, so it's just their "manners" showing, and no one will understand!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 Most outsiders wouldn’t understand.

Keep telling yourself that.

35 ( +38 / -3 )

Neither statement from Japan and South Korea explained how they might attempt to enforce their laws against smoking marijuana while abroad. Police and customs officials in South Korea did not answer calls seeking comment.

Because they CAN’T! Law have jurisdiction, it works in opposite way things that legal in JAPAN is necessarily legal abroad, just like that!

They only can warn not to bring and to sell it back home.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

In Japan it is illegal to smoke marijuana even overseas. If you come back and they test you (it happened to Japanese two friends of mine that went to Amsterdam and returned), you will get held at the airport coming back in.

I think they just held at the airport because authority detected substance on your friends. While is not necessary they carried yet in their luggage, so they were being held for further investigation not necessarily leading to an arrest.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Picture this headline:

Taka Saito, 18, and Ayumi Suzuki, 19, were arrested today at Narita airport upon their arrival for having consumed alcohol while on homestay in London. Each has pled guilty and faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

An inconsolable Ms Suzuki, 19, claims she had only one sip of wine at her farewell dinner and usually never drinks alcohol. She has been suspended from her university pending further investigation. Mr. Saito, 18, admitted to having had alcohol before.

Yes, absurd, again, but again, that's the point.

29 ( +29 / -0 )

Hiro

Im Japanese American and was born here and I “understand” what you are saying. But it’s an understanding that kind of makes me pity small mindedness that’s sprinkled with barbed things like “manners” and “others don’t understand”, because I know that’s also how we Japanese commonly belittle things too.

This has nothing to do with manners or being considerate. Japanese would drink alcohol in an Arab nation if there was a bar there or engage in sex services even if it were kinda shady.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Most outsiders wouldn’t understand.

This is so stupid and funny at the same time. It’s the typical blanket defence used in Japan when it comes to culture but they can never explain why others wouldn’t understand.

29 ( +30 / -1 )

Japanese laws do not apply outside Japan;it’s as simple as that.....

20 ( +24 / -4 )

"Most outsiders wouldn't understand" can be used to justify anything and it completely stops any possibility of conversation.

Imagine a tourist having one's arms cut off for suspicion of theft in a deeply conservative Muslim region. Then imagine the locals telling that person's family to get over it, as "most outsiders wouldn't understand."

18 ( +19 / -1 )

I think pigs are starting to sprout wings when China is starting to sound like the level headed nation:

Chinese in its jurisdiction — and students in particular — "to avoid contact with and use of marijuana for the sake of ensuring your own physical and mental health."

> Most outsiders wouldn’t understand

Lol. I agree with you, but while most outsiders wouldn't understand, zero Japanese people do either.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Last thing these governments what is its citizens returning home having discovered that it's OK to relax, and telling their friends it's harmless, aren't addicted, didn't turn into a crazed killer. Just laughed a lot ate lots of food and felt comfortable. No government wants that for its citizens?

16 ( +16 / -0 )

@thepersoniamnow.........Well said! Thank you!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

S. Korea once arrested a Korean woman who had appeared in a Canadian porn movie. So yeah, they can and will enforce their laws. As pointed out, people can be tested for pot consumption.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Japanese embassy says, " Japanese laws outlawing the possession and sale of marijuana may be applied to actions taken abroad" - Really? Sounds pretty radical to me. I did not know Japan has jurisdictions for actions taken in foreign, sovereign nations.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The Japanese embassy says, " Japanese laws outlawing the possession and sale of marijuana may be applied to actions taken abroad" -

Japanese authorities sometimes release questionable statement that have no base at all, this is not the first one.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Neither statement from Japan and South Korea explained how they might attempt to enforce their laws against smoking marijuana while abroad. 

There is is no way they can enforce their laws in a foreign country. This is just a hollow threat that amounts to nothing more than governmental bullying. I guess they never thought that people might just say no to drugs anyway. I can understand them advising people not to partake in drug use, but making hollow threats of incarceration is just ridiculous.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Who's business is it of theirs? Keep your beaky nose out of what people chooseto do where it's legal.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Please do not engage in this illegal activity which can cause harm to you and others, please just come back home and have several enkais each month, which are harmless fun, and make sure to do so in smoke filled bars where you can enjoy cigarettes.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Some countries do, in fact, claim extraterritorial jurisdiction in certain cases. That is one aspect to debate, granted. But for this particular "crime" how would Japanese authorities even go about deciding who to test, question, arrest?

If Japanese snowboarders in British Columbia post their partying on Instagram and there is photographic evidence for their "crime" then I'll leave it to the lawyers to debate the jurisdiction.

But will every Japanese tourist returning home now fall under the, ahem, cloud of suspicion? Sign your customs declaration and please pee in this cup.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Legal doesn’t mean acceptance. In Japan we are taught to avoid it. So even going abroad we should respect the things we are taught and be a good example for others. Manners and discipline no matter where you are. Each nation has it’s own culture. Most outsiders wouldn’t understand.

郷にいれば、郷に従え。

In Canada, it's not bad manners, nor a bad example to smoke marijuana. In fact, many people there much prefer people smoking marijuana than drinking alcohol, as people who smoke marijuana laugh too much then fall asleep, while people who drink to much often get into illegal or violent behaviors.

So your entire argument falls apart. If you are supped to be polite with good manners, and you're supposed to 郷に従え, then it's entirely fine to smoke marijuana in other countries.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

There actually is precedent for this - child prostitution in other countries. A number of countries will charge their citizens at home for using child prostitutes abroad. In that case I fully agree with prosecuting citizens at home for their behavior in other countries, though I've often wondered how they are able to do that.

That said, I wish the Japanese government would not double down on stupidity, and maybe spend some time looking into why the Canadian government felt not only that it was ok to decriminalize it, but to go the extra step and entirely legalize it. It's not like the Canadians are being secretive of their reasoning. The problem is that after 100 years of prohibition, where you've had generations of politicians taking extreme stances against marijuana, now they either have to admit they were wrong all along, or as the Japanese are doing, double down on their stupidity.

Sucks that Japan went that latter route.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Yup. But you can come back to Japan, get pissed out of your mind, and puke all over other passengers on the train. That's perfectly acceptable. Or you can light up a cancer stick (cigarette) in most restaurants and blow toxic fumes at other diners. Even children. No worries. Carry on, Japan. You exist in your own little world where logic and reason are absent.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Readers, alcohol and tobacco are not relevant to this discussion.

Look at the state of the guy in the photo. Hardly someone to aspire to be like.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Look at the state of the guy in the photo. Hardly someone to aspire to be like.

Why not? What's wrong with being stoned? Seriously, people always talk as if there is something morally wrong with being intoxicated, yet whenever I ask what that problem is, no one seems to be able to provide an answer.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I just told my wife, who is anti-marijuana, about this, and even she said 'バカじゃない?'

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Marijuana eh

Yakuza sell it all the time here, for a premium

13 ( +14 / -1 )

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=YowSrN69UFM&t=267

here is Prime Minister Trudeau last week speaking at my old high school on why Canada decided to legalize.

i remember sitting in that very auditorium, stoned out of my gourd while watching a kid on stage eat a goldfish for 5 bucks. good times... or maybe the entire thing was hallucinated since marijuana makes you see imaginary things!?!?!?!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Don't take drugs, abroad or not, that including you people, if you still want to stay in Japan.

-38 ( +2 / -40 )

I am so happy that the three northeast Asian nations take the same stand against the drug use. The core values of the three nations are still the same.

-48 ( +7 / -55 )

Seriously, people always talk as if there is something morally wrong with being intoxicated, yet whenever I ask what that problem is, no one seems to be able to provide an answer.

Well established negative health outcomes that reduce your quality and length of life? Risk of becoming dependent and abuse it (not so much with marijuana but definitely alcohol)? Impaired judgment leading to higher risks of accidental death or injury, or just doing stuff you regret?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Readers, alcohol is not relevant to this discussion.

To quote the late, great Frank Zappa

”You are what you smoke.”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Marijuana and Canadian maple syrup, good marketing PR for a potential cafe

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Seth M - Don't take drugs, abroad or not, that including you people, if you still want to stay in Japan.

So, who are you to tell anybody what to do? Whether people realize it or are prepared to accept it, drug use and supply is rampant in Japan and the vast majority of users and suppliers are Japanese. The Japanese government should be more concerned about domestic drug use than bullying the few who travel abroad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ModeratorToday 09:25 am JST

Readers, alcohol is not relevant to this discussion.

The discussion is about drugs, no? Bang on...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am so happy that the three northeast Asian nations take the same stand against the drug use. The core values of the three nations are still the same.

Well, the irrational, illogical fear-based thinking is still the same. I guess you could call that a core value, but it's a pretty pathetic one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does this dictum apply to Japanese citizens only or does it apply to foreign residents of Japan? Does it apply to visitors to Japan from countries like Canada where  marijuana is legal?

So how is all this going to be enforced? Thousands of people fly into Japan from abroad. Who is going to get tested? And how?

Well, I suppose an easy target would be someone with long hair and love beads who tells the Immigration officer, “Peace, love and good vibes,” and “Getting my passport stamped blows my mind.” Outside of someone that, the  marijuana user would be hard to spot. Random blood tests? Just try that before the Olympics.

This dictum is an absurdity and the Japanese ought to know it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This dictum is an absurdity and the Japanese ought to know it.

In all seriousness, and I'm not even trying to be facetious here, when has that ever stopped them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rainyday - thank you for answering. Usually no one does.

Well established negative health outcomes

No, well established assumptions of negative health outcomes, based on 100 years of prohibition-based propaganda.

reduce your quality and length of life?

Ok, that's a logical reason to not do drugs. You are showing physical reasons. But humans do things every minute of every day that can and do have negative consequences to their lives, and these are not immoral.

Risk of becoming dependent and abuse it (not so much with marijuana but definitely alcohol)?

The risk exists, but only a very small percentage of the population will have that problem. So what is the moral infraction committed by a person who uses a drug responsibly?

Impaired judgment leading to higher risks of accidental death or injury, or just doing stuff you regret?

And again, risks, but nothing to do with morality.

I'm not saying there aren't negative effects of using drugs, there obviously are, with some drugs being worse than others. What I'm asking is where any of this has anything whatsoever to do with morals.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So basically they're saying.... "we own you, no matter where you are". I have to say, I definitely have a problem with that. Will the government get you a lawyer in a foreign country when a Japanese Citizen commits a crime there that is not a crime in Japan?

Bingo!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"When in Rome do as the Romans do". If it's legal in that country just take the leisure to enjoy what the people do in that country. So, take a puff, pass out the smoke and relax bro!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is dangerous for the health. Canada in an english kingdom that try to bury reports about real dangers.

People always need more for pain. It is less effective than the usual painkiller on everyday pain, this come with mafia a lot of dead people to win the market.....

Well, this is england going to war through permissive value to make forget they are an outdated monarchy with a very bad reputation growing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Canada receives a lot of money from Japan inform of tourism and the last thing that they want is for people to be influenced by the sale is easy to buy legal marijuana. It would depend on how you look at it, and one hand it will help the Canadian government because potentially more people may be interested in wanting to try it, on the flipside he could get a Japan a lot of headaches on their citizens may be some warning to try to sneak it back into the country. But I think the bigger problem overall is education and I think in Asian countries these governments totally out to lunch to the benefits, pros and cons of marijuana in various forms in the only thing they do in Japan and then most other Asian countries they stress it’s bad, but when you ask why, they answer, it’s a drug and it’s illegal because, it’s bad, other than that, you never get a logical definitive and detailed explanation as to what are the side effects or the long term ramifications if any are never discussed.

The more these countries double-down, the more particularly young people will be curious to inquire more about it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am from Brasil and I know how drugs are destroying the people especially from the slams ,you can say it’s just marihuana but it’s escalates to other stronger drugs,not everyone off course,so don’t make a fuss about it if you don’t like move to Canada get their citizenship and you are free to do their way !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why not? What's wrong with being stoned?

Looks like he needs a good shower and some serious personal grooming. Stoners are always smelly hippies who look unkempt and incapable of holding down a proper job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know one thing, the chances of legalizing marijuana in Australia are as remote as ever. Decriminalization has been the norm however for a long time, ie, nobody goes to jail for using marijuana. Selling it at scale however will probably land you in prison.

Canada is heavily influenced by the goings on in America and recent state based legalization's in the U.S.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Marijuana may be legal now in Canada but at least three Asian governments are warning their citizens to avoid it, including the specter of possible arrest for Japanese and South Koreans.

I see.

The Chinese statement, posted on the consulate's website, included a long explanation of the Canadian and provincial laws, advising them to read it carefully to avoid running afoul of the new regulations.

Interesting.

Neither statement from Japan and South Korea explained how they might attempt to enforce their laws against smoking marijuana while abroad. Police and customs officials in South Korea did not answer calls seeking comment.

Well.. they are South Korean after all...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do what you want when overseas provided it is legal there. Don't take photos or videos of you or your friends doing those things and paste them all over your social media accounts.

Don't show up to the flight home with bloodshot eyes, acting goofy, smelling of weed, looking for Doritos.

And it should be very obvious, don't bring any back with you or papers or a pipe or any other paraphernalia related to things Japan doesn't like.

In short, don't be stupid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Yubaru: Anyone in Japan can be held for 20 days without arrest. They can take DNA and hair samples without your consent as part of an investigation. If an immigration agent suspects a Japanese national (mostly) has done drugs overseas they will get held. Just make sure if they ask you the question you say no straight away. Friend had to go to court and pay a fine, wasn't transporting anything if that is what you are thinking. Had nothing on him. They take this very seriously, don't say I didn't warn you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can see the lawmakers view. If someone tests positive to marijuana after buying and smoking in Japan, They will get severe punishment. It would be unfair if someone tests positive after smoking in Canada on a trip can then say "It's OK, I didn't smoke it in Japan." The law would not be even and fair to all people being tested by police.

Furthermore, marijuana takes maybe 2 weeks to leave the system, so if the marijuana smokers are working in Japan, it could be a legal issue for the company if they are involved in an accident etc. and then test positive to an illegal drug.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Look at the state of the guy in the photo. Hardly someone to aspire to be like.

Exactly.

Japan does not need another cancer causing substance pushed on the public. The wreath of carcinogenic smoke encircling his head says it all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Manners and discipline no matter where you are. Each nation has it’s own culture. Most outsiders wouldn’t understand.

I often get that "it's our culture" thing. But what most Japanese don't seem to understand is that it is not their culture. Marijuana was made illegal in Japan by the US (GHQ) right after WWII.

Unless you meant that it is Japan's culture to be obedient sheep that do not question anything; in that case you might have a point...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan, 2 other Asian nations warn citizens not to use marijuana in Canada

But hanging a pot leaf from your rear view mirror is perfectly acceptable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am so happy that the three northeast Asian nations take the same stand against the drug use. The core values of the three nations are still the same.

These so-called 'values' are based on illogical fear-based propaganda.

As well, marijuana was only made illegal in japan by the Americans after WWII. Prior to that it was not illegal here. So how can you claim the values are still the same - the values have been flip flopping for a century.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hate drugs as a couple of friends died.

but people should have a choice in the world outside japan if not breaking laws outside japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese consulate in Vancouver warned on its website that Japanese laws outlawing the possession and sale of marijuana may be applied to actions taken abroad.

Sod off Japan, you have zero jurisdiction in any other country. Same goes for you too China and South Korea!

Pathetic!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here is what most people dont understand. Legally speaking, while you have to follow the laws of the host nation while on visit, you still are bound to the laws of the nation for which you have a passport as well. You are a citizen of "X" country first and foremost, and are still bound by the laws of that nation when you are entering a country using "X" country's passport. By receiving a passport and using it, you're essentially agreeing to those terms. Its not a get out of free card.

So yes, Japan has absolutely every right to enforce their laws on their citizens for anything they do outside of the country. As does any country in the world.

As a Canadian in Japan this does ultimately affect me... Ultimately the legalization of it is an attempt to stop organized crime and it'll likely work. I still wont do it though. And its also, not legal to smoke it anywhere other than your personal residence lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People dont realize that by using a passport to enter a country you are still bound to the laws of the issuing country. You're a citizen of that country and absolutely must abide by the rules of your host nation, as well as the nation that issues the passport. Its legally been that way since the introduction of passports, just the common person is unaware of it. There is also precedence for it.

As a Canadian in Japan this does affect me... but its not that big of an issue, I still won't do it, and I dont think people realize its only legal to smoke it in a personal residence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"In Japan it is illegal to smoke marijuana overseas"

Hahahahahahaha, oh, man, that may be what the Japanese government is saying, but, really, how is it illegal to do something a country where it isn't illegal? It ain't! Here's an idea - don't tell the J gov't you smoked whilst you were in Canada. What are they gonna do, make you do a blood test upon your return?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Canada should end visa free travel for japan and south korea in protest. my 2 cents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only “little” problem here is that they have to have a blood sample or urine sample. You just say no! They can not detain indefinitely on mere suspicion, and I don’t think they have he resources to test every Canadian or any airline passenger that comes from Canada or Holland. And you just say “No, I don’t feel like I have to pee and no to any blood sample. Deporting someone on mere suspicion is a slippery slope and what can Japan do with its own citizens? Lock them for a year because some stupid immigration officer thought he looked suspicious?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is a good move for the three governments in this region. What if they go abroad and use whatever drugs legal there and post their experience or pictures in SNS to brag out without any constraint? Would it have any positive influence on growing up children? Wouldn't it encourage more people to go abroad to smoke pots?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"In Japan it is illegal to smoke marijuana overseas"

Hahahahahahaha, oh, man, that may be what the Japanese government is saying, but, really, how is it illegal to do something a country where it isn't illegal? It ain't!

Here's an idea - don't tell the J gov't you smoked whilst you were in Canada. What are they gonna do, make you do a blood test upon your return?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice move for those countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So basically they're saying.... "we own you, no matter where you are". I have to say, I definitely have a problem with that. thnk of how Americans feel when they have to pay taxes in the US when they havent even lived there for a long period of time.

Manners and discipline no matter where you are. Each nation has it’s own culture. Most outsiders wouldn’t understand.

oh you know becuase most gaijin dont have the intelligence to understand, what you fail to understand is that your brainwashed into conformitity and control at a young age under the guise of culture ,manners & discipline. unfortunaelty your individuality opionions and self esteeme are sacrificed in the process all becuase you are required to respect elders becuase of their age instead of the content of their caracter. respect is mutual not a given.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And this is why among other reasons I decided not to move to Japan, at least until they get it together

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These countries are in panic mode now. If their people start trying MJ overseas and they see it's not that bad, they will start legalization movements in their home country. For Japan and Korea anyway, China would have none of that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here is an interesting study I found on NPR (today actually) explaining improvements in cognitive ability when adolescents give up pot. The study was performed by the NIH in the United States. Not providing comment or opinion (as I only read it once quickly) just throwing it out there as it is quite relevant to this topic.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/10/30/662127406/when-adolescents-give-up-pot-their-cognition-quickly-improves

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The airport dogs will detect weed residues on your clothing (happened to a Japanese friend), so you’ll want to rub your clothes through the washer before you come back (or leave your old ones behind if the weed makes you paranoid enough).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I found this on NPR today. It is a study on how the cognitive ability of adolescents improves after giving up pot. Did not read thoroughly enough to comment but it is interesting and relevant information.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/10/30/662127406/when-adolescents-give-up-pot-their-cognition-quickly-improves

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am so happy that the three northeast Asian nations take the same stand against the drug use. The core values of the three nations are still the same.

death by overwork or suicide as a result, Korea and Japan have the highest suicide rates in the world. maybe they need to legalise marijuana to help the population with stress relief.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

These countries are in panic mode now. If their citizens start trying MJ overseas and they realize it's not that bad, they will start legalization movements in their home country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"There is is no way they can enforce their laws in a foreign country. This is just a hollow threat that amounts to nothing more than governmental bullying."

try pointing that out to the IRS next time you earn some income overseas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's our law not yours. To say that Japanese law applies in Canada is ridiculous and more proof that Japan doesn't know what laws are

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A urine test doesn't mean you smoked it either, you could have been merely in the presence of someone who did

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Government is worried because they understand clearly their Japanese "tribe mentality". If young or old Japanese start experimenting and enjoying weed, it WILL snowball and become uncontrollable. Japan is the beehive of the world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All very confusing.

applying laws on substance use extraterritorially is waaay excessive.

Some laws do apply in other countries (e.g. treason laws), but for this issue it is OTT.  We have all heard that some countries in the middle East have arrested people for having alcohol in their system or having tiny amounts of drugs in their systems (or in one case even a crumb stuck under their shoe), but sure Japan doesn't want to be cast in the same mold as those.

Will they be randon testing people landing from Holland, Canada etc?  Why haven't they been doin g so in the past?  and what about countries where minor use is essentially de criminalized like Spain, Portugal and even the UK.

This is just a ridiculous overreaction as crack finally start to appear I  the global consensus (manufactured by US coercion in the 30's) on the "evils" of drugs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Really, who knows how they might behave after they've had their eyes opened for the first time in their lives...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually, it's not illegal to smoke marijuana in Japan. What's illegal is "possession and sale of marijuana". So, unlike "kakuseizai" (a 'stimulant' used in Japan) which they can arrest you for if they find traces in your urine, marijuana they cannot. The Japanese police have to catch you possessing it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am so happy that the three northeast Asian nations take the same stand against the drug use. The core values of the three nations are still the same.

Yeah pretty screwed up, and only wanting to control their populations!

I have heard from many folks who have been to Canada that the Japanese are some of the easiest one's to get hooked on MJ, because they love the feeling of freedom they have when smoking it!

I say more should, especially the ones making statements like these!

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What ridiculous laws. And almost certainly unenforcable. They do nothing other than make Japan and South Korea appear as Police states.

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As absurd as it may sound, the 1991 ammendment to the Cannabis Control Law 大麻取締法 prohibits use, possession, dealing of pot both in and outside of Japan by Japanese residents. It could just used as a scare tactict, but it is something customs could pull you up on. Anyone convicted of a drug offense, felony or misdemeanor, no matter how dated or minor conviction can have their visa cancelled.

Expect airport customs to be super strict with direct flights from Canada for the next few weeks.

Don't leave anything in your pockets and make sure you wear "fresh clothes" when you go through customs. Don't give the sniffer dogs anything to bark about.

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Presumably, one would have to consent to provide a blood or a hair sample, and that would require authorities to have grounds for demanding it. Nobody in their right mind would comply. Are they planning to bang people up pending the outcome of DNA tests, or to wait and arrest them later? I'd actually like to see a test case brought based on the legality of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

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HiroToday 07:09 am JST

Most outsiders wouldn’t understand."

LOL, the old "we Japanese" defense seems to arise in every comments section. Similar to the Borg Coolective from Star Trek!

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"My son died from a marijuana overdose!" said no one ever. But marijuana is prime dangerous drug No.1 banned by people who have never tried it before and are only following the weed laws based on silly outdated propaganda from the 1950's concocted by the US government.

This makes as much sense as a kid going over to his friend's house and accepting an offered glass of coca cola even though his parents think "soda is the devil" and his parents punish him when he gets back home. They have no control over people once they're on vacation. Its up to the individual to make that decision in the visiting country.

Neither statement from Japan and South Korea explained how they might attempt to enforce their laws against smoking marijuana while abroad. Police and customs officials in South Korea did not answer calls seeking comment.

They call this "making up rules as the game changes!" Surely this isn't a law at all.

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In Japan it is illegal to smoke marijuana even overseas. If you come back and they test you (it happened to Japanese two friends of mine that went to Amsterdam and returned), you will get held at the airport coming back in.

I call BS. Unlike other drugs testing positive for THC in Japan is not a punishable offense. You can only be charged if you have marijuana in your possession.

The government would hate for ppl to go overseas and find out you can alter your senses and have a good time.

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Canada is fine. Most Canadians (86%) are not drug users even after legalization. They seem to know what's good and what's bad; they do not succumb to the temptations.

According to numbers released on Wednesday, 14 percent of Canadians (or around 4.2 million people) reported using cannabis in the past three months... (Vice News)

Japan is in a much better environment to control illegal drugs, and thus, unlike Canada, does not have to give up (and legalize).

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I found this on NPR today. It is a study on how the cognitive ability of adolescents improves after giving up pot. Did not read thoroughly enough to comment but it is interesting and relevant information.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/10/30/662127406/when-adolescents-give-up-pot-their-cognition-quickly-improves

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These governments would be better off telling their citizens to respect the laws of countries they are in. No littering, defacing monuments or punching passengers on the plane make more sense than what they do on their own time.

And what about non-citizens. Is it acceptable for me to smoke marijuana and come back to Japan?

And how are they going to implement this?

Mandatory testing for all citizens but long term residents like me can breeze through??? Not that I mind it.

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how insufferably and unutterably stupid. How predictably Japanese....

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AkieToday 09:17 am JST

"The core values of the three nations are still the same."

Just what are those core values?

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Some laws are imposed or enforced by countries around the world extra territorially (e.g. laws on treason).  however these attempts are OTT and ridiculous.  How to enforce?  Why?  and why haven't they a;lready been mouthing off and attempting to enforce for travelers to countries like Spain and Portugal and Holland and even UK, where enforcement of laws against marijuana just doesn't occur for small amounts and personal use?

good to see widening cracks in the ridiculous consensus about drugs that was first imposed on the world by the US in the 20's and 30's for political and, frankly, ridiculous reasons.

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These governments would be better off telling their citizens to respect the laws of countries they are in. No littering, defacing monuments or punching passengers on the plane make more sense than what they do on their own time.

And what about non-citizens. Is it acceptable for me to smoke marijuana and come back to Japan?

And how are they going to implement this? 

Mandatory testing for all citizens but long term residents like me can breeze through??? Not that I mind it.

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Actually, I think it’s sort of cute that the government would show its concern for citizens in this unenforceable way. It’s like signs that tell you to be sure to cross at the corner, because crossing in the middle of the street might be dangerous. Reading this in a sinister way is not necessary, though people do tend to be allergic to over- controlling governments in general these days.

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“... including you people.” I presume this rude person was referring to resident non-Japanese and foreign tourists. Especially foreign tourists pose a problem. Some may have ingested marijauna at sometime prior to leaving for Japan. Suppose they are targeted (I mean selected) for a blood test to see if they have marijauna residue in their blood. Would they be arrested or fined or deported immediately?

If this is the case, a lot of people will not come to Japan, Korea or China for their holidays. Tourism will suffer as a result. That is a certainly.

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Tourism is going to suffer because of this.

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Don't take drugs, abroad or not, that including you people, if you still want to stay in Japan.

people only need to follow the laws of the country theyre in when they leave Japan, if they choose to smoke marijuana then so be it as long as they leave enough time before they come back to Japan as theyre isnt any on their cloths or in their systems theres sweet FA the Japanese government can do about it, J laws have no juristiction in other countries.

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Would a Japanese national overseas be breaking the law if they took Sudafed (which is available freely in the supermarket in my native country), for cold or stuffy nose?

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Would a Japanese national overseas be breaking the law if they took Sudafed (which is readily available in a supermarket in my native country) for cold relief and a stuffy nose?

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I like all the outraged comments here, but it means nothing.. in Japanese law, if your urine test contains drugs , you most likely will be prosecuted for possession ( prosecutors grace really ) .... so unless Japan will push themselves and revert these forced American laws ... better be careful, because if the customs or immi guy decides that they dont like you .., they can ruin your life very easily.

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"In Japan it is illegal to smoke marijuana even overseas."

As much as the Japanese government may wish it to be true, there's not a thing they can do about Japanese citizens doing something in another country that is legal in that country.

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"In Japan it is illegal to smoke marijuana even overseas"

This sentence makes no sense whatsoever. In Japan is in Japan. Overseas is overseas.

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I don’t see how they can enforce something which is legal overseas Isn’t the offence in Japan possession/sale/trafficking and not consumption?

Australians are often reminded that what is considered legal here may not be overseas and vice versa, Japanese government should just advise citizens not to bring the stuff back that’s all.

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I'd like to hear from recovering drug addicts on the question of marijuana. If there are any readers who are recovering addicts, what do you think? Is it harmless?

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So what can you be charged for if you are tested and found to have marijuana in your blood and dont have possesion ?

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"I am so happy that the three northeast Asian nations take the same stand against the drug use. The core values of the three nations are still the same."

LOL! I guess gaijin know more about Asia and Japan. Because Korea and Japan have had a LONGER history of marijuana use than the USA. They have had marijuana in their culture longer than the USA and Canada where even colonized. I am only an "outsider" but even I know that there are government run hemp farms in Japan that make the hemp clothes for the Japanese emperor to wear. And that marijuana was used in shinto rituals for hundreds of years. The only reason marijuana was outlawed is because of the US occupation in Japan and US led NATO forced basically running Korea for 3 years the continued NATO presence in South Korea. You do realize that in North Korea, still Korean, still Asian, marijuana is legal.

"The core values of the three nations are still the same." So in this case core values = keeping its citizen's mind in a box expecting them to never truly question. Yep, I 100% agree

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The core values of the three nations are still the same.

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Akie, the core values of include profiting from the sale of addictive drugs, which can also be fatal, by taxing them.

The extraterritorial application of law seems to be extremely limited. I believe if a Japanese murdered someone in Canada, he would not be tried for murder in Japan. Canadian law would apply and he could be extradited. The only exception I can think of is paedophilia. Sex with an underage person in another country can lead to the offender being tried in his home country. But, as I said, that is an exception.

It seems quite clear that if any young Japanese wants to try marijuana, it will be much better for them to try it in a country where it is legal than in Japan.

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Unless South Korea or Japan intend to force their citizens to be subjected to a drug test upon reentry, how in the world is this proclamation going to be enforced? Making laws that are unenforceable lowers respect for the rule of law in general.

And, to be clear, I do not consume marijuana myself. Tried it when I was younger, and it gave me a headache.

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Akie, the core values include profiting from the sale of addictive drugs, which can also be fatal, by taxing them.

The extraterritorial application of law seems to be extremely limited. I believe if a Japanese murdered someone in Canada, he would not be tried for murder in Japan. Canadian law would apply and he could be extradited. The only exception I can think of is paedophilia. Sex with an underage person in another country can lead to the offender being tried in his home country. But, as I said, that is an exception.

It seems quite clear that if any young Japanese wants to try marijuana, it will be much better for them to try it in a country where it is legal than in Japan.

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A good move of those three asian countries

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My guess is that a good chunk of the Japanese expat community in Vancouver are there precisely because they want to roast up some buds.

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Will Canadians be arrested for smoking it legally in their own country if they go to Japan?

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Will they be asking everyone (Japanese or not) who arrives at Haneda or Narita if they have been to Canada in the past few days?!

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If a Japanese or Korean person travel to another country is that person not Japanese or Korean anymore? It is inevitable fact the person should be held responsible by law as citizens where ever you are.

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@kurisupisu: Incorrect, Like or it not (must likely not) Japanese laws (just like taxes) apply to all Japanese residents anywhere in the world. There are similar laws in other countries for example to stop the underage sex industry in Asia.

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As a Canadian citizen dead against this legalization I applaud these governments for taking this stance and publicizing it.

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Akie, the core values of include profiting from the sale of addictive drugs, which can also be fatal, by taxing them.

The extraterritorial application of law seems to be extremely limited. I believe if a Japanese murdered someone in Canada, he would not be tried for murder in Japan. Canadian law would apply and he could be extradited. The only exception I can think of is paedophilia. Sex with an underage person in another country can lead to the offender being tried in his home country. But, as I said, that is an exception.

It seems quite clear that if any young Japanese wants to try marijuana, it will be much better for them to try it in a country where it is legal than in Japan.

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Would the governments of South Korea and Japan start giving blood and urine tests to their returning citizens? How else could they enforce the ban on marijuana? Making laws that cannot be enforced has the effect of weakening the respect for laws in general.

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To prove the use of illegal drugs for those returning abroad would require invasive medical tests.

Surely, that would not be enforceable under existing law and would result an invasion of privacy at best and at worst, an assault on the person!

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They only can warn not to bring and to sell it back home.

That would have been a sensible and understandable warning. A warning to government officials resident in Canada (embassy workers, etc.) as part of their duties might also have been warranted, or even a link to possible health effects and current research, like this: https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects.html would still serve to inform citizens that the official government stance of the home country hasn't changed.

But making empty threats is just laughable.

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Akie. Core values really? I have never seen so many pissed people anywhere I have travelled as I have seen in Japan.

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Ensure that you (user) have flush out all the traces of substance from your body before you arrive (in those countries)!

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How do the customs at the air port know that you have had a spliff in Canada or Holland? I can't see how they can prosecute anyone so long as they don't have any drugs on themselves at the airport. does the Japanese government have special powers? especially when it comes to arresting someone for something that they might have done in another country, nope thats just bully boy tactics again.

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The state can and does act outside the law-that makes it a breach of law!

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StrangerlandOct. 31  09:00 am JST

I just told my wife, who is anti-marijuana, about this, and even she said 'バカじゃない?'

that's classic!

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A nation does have the right to make laws governing the actions of citizens abroad. However, they have no jurisdiction to enforce these laws abroad. If it could be proven in a court one could be liable in theory.

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Although the history of cannabis hemp in Japan goes back to the neolithic Jomon era, thousands of years ago, cannabis was not made illegal in the country until after the defeat in World War II. Few people nowadays realize that it was the American military occupation government of General McArthur (himself a tobacco smoker) that passed the Hemp Control Act in 1948, the first hemp prohibition law in the entire history of Japan. Marijuana most certainly was not made illegal in Japan because it was dangerous. In 5000 years of recorded worldwide hemp history not a single death has been attributable to an overdose of marijuana, while hundreds of thousands of people are killed by tobacco and alcohol every year.

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Although the history of cannabis hemp in Japan goes back to the neolithic Jomon era, thousands of years ago, cannabis was not made illegal in the country until after the defeat in World War II. Few people nowadays realize that it was the American military occupation government of General McArthur (himself a tobacco smoker) that passed the Hemp Control Act in 1948, the first hemp prohibition law in the entire history of Japan. Marijuana most certainly was not made illegal in Japan because it was dangerous. In 5000 years of recorded worldwide hemp history not a single death has been attributable to an overdose of marijuana.

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@kawabegawa198 I totally agree.

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I attended a meeting at my daughters public middle school - Otori middle school in meguro tokyo - students and parents were given a lecture by a policeman and shown a seedy anti-drug movie comparable to the movie 'refer madness' we were shown in the USA as kids, along with a 30 page illustrated booklet published by the health welfare and labor ministry, here's a link https://www.mhlw.go.jp/bunya/iyakuhin/dl/dame_kenkou27.pdf

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Just laughed a lot ate lots of food and felt comfortable. No government wants that for its citizens?

I wouldn't put a question mark at the end of your otherwise perfect observation, Cricky ;) We are all owned by our governments and it's time to let us be free. Have you ever tried to work in another country without proper credentials and not using a spouse visa to work your desired job? That's just one example of how we are being enslaved.

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Legally speaking, the government has a case. After all, the hypothetical Japanese in question would be traveling on a government issued passport, and would have to abide by whatever conditions the government would set for its use.

Practically speaking, this is almost, but not completely, impossible to regulate. I guess the above example of random drug tests for passengers returning from Canada would be the only option.

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Legally, if the government were to establish laws on the usage of Japanese passports abroad relating to drug use, it's fathomable that they could prosecute Japanese citizens for such behavior.

Practically, it would be difficult.

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Japanese laws do not apply outside Japan;it’s as simple as that.....

Um, obviously they do.

Stop acting like this is something unique to Japan, guys. The USA requires you pay taxes even if you live abroad.

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The "core values" of the people running the governments of China, Japan and Korea are nothing if not authoritarian, right-wing conservative, xenophobic, intolerant and it goes without saying: fundamentally hostile to democratic values and ideals. Don't believe it? Just check out the historical record!

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The "core values" of the people running the governments of China, Japan and Korea are indeed the same: authoritarian, right-wing conservative, intolerant, xenophobic and hostile to democratic values and practice from time immemorial. True democracy is still only a dream. Only the peoples, not the ruling classes of these countries can make a society based on democratic values.

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“The core values of the three nations are still the same.”

Yet, chain smoking and binge drinking are okay. All those drunken salary men on the platforms during bonenkai season. All those gropers & filming up skirts getting caught saying “I was drunk, I don’t remember.” Get off Scott free, but throw the book at someone getting high 5,000 miles away in a foreign / sovereign country.

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The Japanese government has no business telling it’s people what they can / cannot do on foreign and sovereign soil.

If Japanese are caught bringing it back into their country, then that’s another story.

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