crime

Drug trial begins for Japanese teen in Bali

71 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (C) 2012 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

71 Comments
Login to comment

Harsh times. Hope he makes it back to Japan.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Too bad... He was raised with the typical Japanese mentality, used to being coddled in Japan, out in the rest of the world, it's not just, "Oh, Don't do that agian Kenji-kun," Bad Kenji-Kun!" You go to jail, or you can be killed. Japan is Essentially like living in a Giant Disney Land, where Insider Trading isn't even considered a crime, Organized Crime groups are OK, and the biggest crime that JCops are worried about is illegal Bicycle riding...? No unfortunately, it's not a new Mike Judge movie, it's real life Japan.

1 ( +16 / -16 )

I hope they give him the same leniency they gave to the Australian kid.

*How did he know who and where to buy drugs from? Was he lured into buying it? Or did he buy it on his own? I hope they put these into consideration.

3 ( +7 / -5 )

12 years for 2.6 grams is harsh. But the Indo rules on drugs are, and have been for a very long time, crystal clear. He lives there, he would/should know the law. International school students are pretty worldly people from my experience.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I misread...he's an international student who lives there. I thought he was there on vacation. I guess that takes care of the questions I asked earlier. If he lives there, he would know who and where to buy it from!

5 ( +5 / -1 )

one of my former students stayed one week in prison and was kicked out out school for possession of 0.08 g of of weed. you could practically not see it. in Japan. so they should know better

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The "he should have known better" comments will be out in full force, but it still doesn't justify the insanely severe Indonesian penalties for drugs.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

His mother's worked (lived?) in Bali for a decade - did he live with her that whole time, or did he go live with her after graduating JHS?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is the worst hazard that could arise from this kid smoking weed? 16 years in jail.

When the punishment for possession of the drug is worse than anything that could happen from the drug, you're probably a bunch of idealogues who don't make laws based on science, but on fear and irrationality.

History will not be kind to those in charge of the drug war.

9 ( +12 / -2 )

paulinusa:

but it still doesn't justify the insanely severe Indonesian penalties for drugs.

Who are you to tell the Indonesian government that their penalties are "insane"? Just another liberalized westerner who thinks he knows better than the people and governments who enact these laws. It's a law, which means you have to live by their concept of what is "insane" and what is appropriate. Do you think the whole world should be governed by your standards? If you don't like it, don't go there. At least the Indonesian judges have the power to pass sentence as they see appropriate, unlike the "three strikes" laws in the U.S. where there are mandatory life sentences for a third felony no matter how minor the offense.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Ch1n4Sailor: to a point I have to agree with you however I'm confident most would had you written your post in a more adult manner. To add to it though, I most blame corporate Japan. I have seen some many families broken because companies have ZERO consideration for their employees family life when transferring them overseas. Most recent example: my friends wife (who also has a child under 5) is heading to china this week. I ask why she does refuse and he replies that she can't. It'll damage her career. I've seen this so too many times.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Apologies for the typo. I'm confident most would had if you .......

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The 17-year-old, a student at an international high school on the island,

More info on the story . The one before said he was holidaying there and everyone was going on about "How he didn't know the laws..." Whatever. He live sin Bali he most certainly does know the laws when it comes to drugs. Again, don;t do the crime if you can't do the time. He's lucky he's not facing more jail time.

And before people start harping, I don't support, nor agree with this stance on weed (like I don't agree with the US on it either) but don't be dumb. This guy was dumb and should have known better at his age.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Whether the possible punishment is good or not, and whatever good drug policies are, when you travel abroad, you need to keep the local drug laws in mind. You see a person like this every six months, and it's always reported big time, but many don't learn the lesson. "Ha! I won't get caught! I happen to know!" is an illusion.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“As he is still a child, we want him to be returned to his parents because he is only a victim of drug-trafficking,” Hadiana said.

He BOUGHT the stuff! How is he "only a victim of drug-trafficking"?

Drug trafficking exists because of people like him, who buy the stuff.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@techall

People apply their own standards to other countries' laws all the time, as well as to their own law.

Ireland recently created a 'blasphemy law' which I certainly think is insane. As I'm Irish, am I allowed to comment on it or give my opinion?

Some parts of the world carry sentences, including amputation of limbs, or even death, for the 'crime' of apostasy. When I express outrage at this, am I just another liberalised westerner?

I agree that the penalties in Indonesia for drugs are extraordinarily severe compared to may other parts of the world, including places like western Europe where the lawmakers have worked closely with doctors and drug counsellors to determine the extent of the harmful effect different drugs have on individuals and societies to ensure that the punishment fits the crime.

Having said all that, given the media coverage which happens regularly regarding somebody possessing a small amount of drugs being arrested, everybody knows what the law is in Indonesia, so I've got little sympathy for anybody who gets caught.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Don't compare lenient drug laws in Britain, Europe, US and other countries with those of Asia.

The kid is from Japan and living in Bali...he knew drug offences are a serious matter, but he chose to take the risk.

Ch1n4sailor makes perfectly valid points.

People in Japan aren't taught right from wrong, they're taught they can do no wrong.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@irishosaru

Ireland recently created a 'blasphemy law' which I certainly think is insane. As I'm Irish, am I allowed to comment on it or give my opinion?

You certainly are. If you disagree with this law I suggest you use your vote to have it overturned. Until then, I will abide by it.

Some parts of the world carry sentences, including amputation of limbs, or even death, for the 'crime' of apostasy. When I express outrage at this, am I just another liberalised westerner?

I strongly suggest you don't commit "apostasy" in those countries.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you can't do the time don't do the crime.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

techall: Just as you can feel free to express your opinion, so can I. As irishhosaru mentioned, I don't agree with the Indonesian laws and I just happen to disagree with most of the drug laws in the USA also.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hope the boy is shown leniency, and he is able to consider it a lesson well-learned.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

techall:

The laws are clearly insane. Would I follow them on a trip? Yes. Are they conducive to a good society with ample freedom for the nationals? Clearly not.

You seem to intimate that this is an acceptable way of dealing with drugs, especially such harmless ones as marijuana. I'm sorry, but taking sixteen years out of somebody's life for smoking a plant is ridiculous. That is 1/5 of the average human lifespan. It is ridiculous and it can be said without a shadow of doubt that lawmakers who created these laws are fearful and know little of human nature or the human condition.

So yes, the boy should have followed the laws for reasons of self-preservation, but laws like those are clearly backward and do not deserve respect. Many countries have passed horrible laws that violate human rights, but we don't need to sit by and shrug because "it's a law". Statistics and logic are what everybody should follow to implement the best laws which reduce harm for the greatest number of people while ensuring the maximum amount of personal freedom. And yes, the world would be a better place if we all followed this ideal.

There are very few examples of different but equal in this world. It is okay to call something out as insane if it is.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Kid was smart enough to know the consequence's. The sentence may be a bit harsh by western standards, but them's the brakes.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Daffy Duck:

So if jumping on train tracks carried a penalty of five years in your country, and you saw a baby on the tracks, would you jump on the tracks to save it?

Now, nobody is saving a baby by smoking weed, but I would like to point out that a law's mere existence is not justification for its existence.

Either you agree that it is insane and you think the kid should be let go, or you think it is sane and you support him being imprisoned for 16 years. Which is it?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

They should lower his sentence to 1 year if he gives information leading to the arrest of the dealer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The laws are clearly insane. Would I follow them on a trip? Yes. Are they conducive to a good society with ample freedom for the nationals? Clearly not.

I don't think anyone is stating that these laws are great and fair. We're stating that you'd have to be an idiot to go to Indonesia and think you can get away with buying weed off a guy in the street. You'd have to be even more of an idiot to do it while living there and thinking you'll get away with it which is what this guy thought.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Indonesia wants to weed out the druggies and throw them in the joint. The nation views it as a chronic problem. But to be blunt, a watched pot never boils; sentences will likely not be reduced no matter how hard we hope. Only a dope would get caught there. Hope this kid makes a bud in prison.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

tmarie:

Please read the poster to whom I replied. S/he clearly said:

Who are you to tell the Indonesian government that their penalties are "insane"? Just another liberalized westerner who thinks he knows better than the people and governments who enact these laws.

This is a clear defense of, if not the laws themselves, but of a government's sovereignty to make these laws, and by extension a suggestion that the laws are justifiable by their mere existence. There is also a clear jab at liberally minded people who would (and have) argued these laws.

As for this:

You'd have to be even more of an idiot to do it while living there and thinking you'll get away with it which is what this guy thought.

It was not a smart thing to do. But do you think idiocy should be punishable by 16 years in jail? If not, considering your aforementioned stance on marijuana, what is the point of your post? To elucidate a posts you think I've misunderstood?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I bet a lot of lockers suddenly clicked open and shut, and then the toilets started going swoosh very fast too.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Some parts of the world carry sentences, including amputation of limbs, or even death, for the 'crime' of apostasy....

Can you cite one single example, anywhere, whenever, of a person having a limb amputated for apostasy?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This kid is not gonna get off lightly cos he has admitted to using it. Kid or no kid, if he has been living with his mother in Bali for an extended time he was fully aware of the penalties and he and his lawyers should not expect any special treatment cos he is a minor. Suck it up kid! Do the crime, do the time! That's the way it goes, especially in Bali.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Feel sorry for the kid. Yes - he did a stupid thing - but imprisoning a kid in that joint will screw him up big time. Just fine him, deport him and ban him for life from Indonesia. Sadly, we can't rely on Indonesian authorities to impart fairness and common-sense in their judgements.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Chooh, will I don't agree with such harsh sentences for drugs, I'm in no position to tell a country that they're laws are insane for having such punishments - more so when said country makes it very clear how they view these laws. I don't believe thus guy should get a slap on the wrist just because he's a foreigner and it's not his country. Hus sentence should reflect the laws and punishments of the land that he's broken the law in. I don't live in or travel to countries and knowingly break the laws, more so to countries that have strict punishments. If this guy wanted to smoke he should've stay out of Bali (and Japan for that matter) and gone somewhere else. Indeed 12 years is harsh but that's. It over the top for getting. Aught with drugs there. He's lucky he's not looking at life.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Sorry, 16 years, not 12.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

No idea what happened to the last few lines. Ignore that please.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

How barbaric to give someone 12 years for a small amount of pot. The Japanese government should protest highly for this unjust and unethical potential sentence. The facts are clear, pot is no worse than alcohol in terms of the high and while the law is the law one only has to think about getting 12 years for j-walking and how unfair such a sentence would be to see how the crime must fit the punishment. Those still brainwashed by the anti-drug propaganda when it comes to pot should think hard about giving someone 12 years for a drug whose high doesn’t last but an hour and which has never been linked to overdose death and has a very low association with violent crime.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm torn on this. As much as I believe that we all need to respect and follow the laws of whatever country we visit/reside in, I can't get past the fact that we are talking about a kid. Yes, he is old enough to know better but at this age they really can't appreciate the consequences fully. I don't think an extended period in prison will teach him a lesson, I feel that has already been learned. Spending years in prison will most certainly damage this boy. I will not comment on whether pot can or cannot hurt you, I've never tried it so I'm in no position to form an opinion. I can say though that I don't see where he is a danger to society with regards to his offense and should be given a chance. I wish the young man the best and hope he will not be used to set an example.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How barbaric to give someone 12 years for a small amount of pot. The Japanese government should protest highly for this unjust and unethical potential sentence.

The Japanese government should keep its mouth well and truly shut. Nothing riles up a judiciary more than being told what to do by foreigners. Once the trial is over and the verdict delivered, then is the time to make polite representations on behalf of the boy.

However, I'd be very surprised if he gets anything like twelve years. More likely he'll be immediately deported. There is a precedent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

tmarie

I'm in no position to tell a country that they're laws are insane for having such punishments - more so when said country makes it very clear how they view these laws. I don't believe thus guy should get a slap on the wrist just because he's a foreigner and it's not his country. Hus sentence should reflect the laws and punishments of the land that he's broken the law in.

I believe that anybody on the internet is in a position to give their opinion, and given the sciences, social and hard sciences, and philosophy at our disposal, we not only have the right but the duty to speak out against such things. I disagree when women are stoned for adultery, I disagree when people are executed for blasphemy, and the brutal incarceration of human beings for determining what goes into their own bodies is unjust and indefensible on any terms. And especially when the justice systems in so many countries are fallible, it is better to err on the side of leniency than harshness.

Your assertion that his sentence should be according to the law of the land completely sidesteps the discussion of why any gov't would have the right to determine what you smoke/eat. For you it is a foregone conclusion that they have the authority to do what they want, and your concern is more for the power structures in that country than the innocents that are damaged by it. Why is that?

I will say it again, he was stupid for doing it. But your concern for the state and their laws, which are in no way harmed by marijuana, is paramount to your concern for a human being. That is disconcerting for me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Poor kid

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kids make mistakes and it would be a very sad thing for this kid to have his life ruined. But the Indonesian government is in a tough situation because it wants to enforce its severe anti-drug policy and can't just let him go. I hope the Indonesian government would review its anti-drug policy. It seems too severe.

Perhaps two years of community service while he attends school would be appropriate?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And this is why I will never ever go to bali. A bunch of my friends go every 2 years. Its a great place for young people, but Im way to scared of the heavy punishments over there. And although you can just say "I don't do drugs so I dont have to worry" ... well you still do have to worry. Harsh punishments exist for everything. Plus I don't trust myself when im drinking not to do something stupid. It's better to just have a holiday somewhere else.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I disagree when women are stoned for adultery, I disagree when people are executed for blasphemy, and the brutal incarceration of human beings for determining what goes into their own bodies is unjust and indefensible on any terms. And especially when the justice systems in so many countries are fallible, it is better to err on the side of leniency than harshness.

I disagree as well but I can promise you that if I went to a country with such punishment for such things, I wouldn't be doing them - and would abide by their laws out of fear of their punishment.

For you it is a foregone conclusion that they have the authority to do what they want, and your concern is more for the power structures in that country than the innocents that are damaged by it. Why is that? The guy isn't innocent. Whole different kettle of fish and no point in even discussing that issue here when the guy admitted to buying - and I believe smoking - pot.

Bali is a wonderful place - if you follow the law. Simple.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

We went over this a few weeks ago, though then we were under the presumption that he was a tourist who should be let off on the basis that he is just a naive kid on holiday who made a mistake.

At least now it is apparent that the kid isn't a tourist - he lives there - so the "I didn't know Indonesia is tough on drugs" excuse doesn't work. Yes, the law is ludicrous, but it's not our place to dictate Indonesia's laws. If you don't like them, don't go there. If you do go there, don't break them.

He willingly broke the law, and he'll pay the price. He isn't being singled out, nor treated unfairly, so why should he get special treatment? If they let him off, they have to let off all minors who possess drugs in their country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bali is a wonderful place - if you follow the law. Simple.

You're position is very tidy and easy to hold. Unfortunately, the world is infinitely more complicated than you give it credit for.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whether Indonesia's laws are strict or not is not the point. The point is he broke the law. If you dont like the law of the country dont go to that country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The kid, and certainly his mother who should have lectured him on the dangers, is of age enough to know the repercussions for his actions, and not knowing the laws of the land he was in is simply a bad idea. I don't think he deserves 12 years by any means, and I hope he gets some leniency, but with the Muslim world being constantly insulted by the West of late, and Japan fits into that to an extent, it's hard to say what will happen. Hopefully if subject to jail he only does a short stint, is deported, and never flaunts the laws of another nation again. I'm pretty sure the kid has been rightfully scared.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would be more afraid to take a vacation in the U.S. than I would in Indonesia. You even LOOK at a police officer in the U.S. and they will give you the third degree. Anyway, to stay on topic...I doubt the boy will receive the full 12 years. 12 years is a bit harsh for that small amount of marijuana, but I also don't think he should be let free just because he's a minor. He has to be punished but let's hope they make it appropriate. Japan is no place for a foreigner to try and smuggle drugs either.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He was raised with the typical Japanese mentality, used to being coddled in Japan, out in the rest of the world, it's not just, "Oh, Don't do that agian Kenji-kun," Bad Kenji-Kun!" You go to jail, or you can be killed. Japan is Essentially like living in a Giant Disney Land, where Insider Trading isn't even considered a crime, Organized Crime groups are OK, and the biggest crime that JCops are worried about is illegal Bicycle riding...? No unfortunately, it's not a new Mike Judge movie, it's real life Japan.

Goodness me. A 17 year old high school student gets caught smoking a bit of dope in the wrong place and the whole of Japan is judged as living in disneyland where organised crime is rife and insider trading is acceptable?? You have never ever lived in Japan have you? For every Japanese teenager caught smoking dope in the wrong place, there are hundreds of Americans, European and Aussie teenagers doing the very same.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He BOUGHT the stuff! How is he "only a victim of drug-trafficking"?

Drug trafficking exists because of people like him, who buy the stuff.

So we've been getting it wrong all this time. We shouldn't have been arresting the dealers on the street nor the guys who shipped it in, but the users who buy it......

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Indonesians should concentrate on providing basic public infrastructure such as clean water , roads and hospitals, rather than wasting resources on jailing teenagers for smoking dope. They should deal with their own terrorism issue instead of preaching to the rest of the world about drugs. I wouldn't let my kids go there.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You're position is very tidy and easy to hold. Unfortunately, the world is infinitely more complicated than you give it credit for.

It is isn't it. If you don't want to get arrested and charged with buying drugs, don't buy them. It really IS that simple.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It is isn't it. If you don't want to get arrested and charged with buying drugs, don't buy them. It really IS that simple.

But he is a minor and therefore should be treated as one which means not locked up in jail with the threat of 12 years for smoking dope. He's not a robber, or a mugger, or unemployed (nothing wrong with that though) but he is a high school student.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Now, nobody is saving a baby by smoking weed, but I would like to point out that a law's mere existence is not justification for its existence.

Yeah, but as long as it's in place, then these sorts of things will happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan can't feed, water or medically treat its own people. Neither can the US. Neither can a lot of other countries who also preach to the rest of the world about smoking a bit of dope. What's your point?

Absolute nonsense. You drink clean tapwater in Japan don't you? Your newborn baby has a great chance of survival in a US delivery ward right? You can transport by road in the UK yes? Nobody really starves to death in Australia am I correct? You know exactly what my point is and it's not rocket science. If a poorly-run country such as Indonesia cannot provide even a basic infrastructure for it's own people, then they shouldn't get on their high horse about 12 year sentences for 17 year olds smoking dope. You know exactly what my point is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tigers, plenty of minors get tried all over the world as adults. At 17, this "kid" is lucky he isn't being moved up - more so since he's admitted to his crime. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time - age doesn't come into play for that saying.

Very clearly coming from someone who has never experienced loving their own children.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You know, I really hate drugs. And I think people who use them are losers. But, this kid has paid enough dues already! Let him go home!

Wishing you the best kid, hope you get out soon!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

hope the kid get of out the problem and never look back to drugs again but at the same time japan should send a team leaded by Mr. Ishiharah along with japanese police and immigration officers to teach them how to treat a foreigners in their country

0 ( +0 / -0 )

His real crime was not having enough money to payoff the cops that caught him.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hang him! What's a crime is a crime, no matter where you come from.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Weed" is a plant you smoke like tobacco...tobacco is associate w/numerous health risk's..."weed" can be of great assistance in cancer and hospice work and yet "weed"is seen as an evil herb rather than a helpful herb.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Drugs are bad. Never bring a person to a better place in life. Only lower.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He was living in that country and know the laws so I feel that he should be jailed and taught a lesson that Japanese can not get away BS they do overseas.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So we've been getting it wrong all this time. We shouldn't have been arresting the dealers on the street nor the guys who shipped it in, but the users who buy it......

They ship it in, because people will buy it.

Besides, I was saying that his defense teams argument that he was just a victim of drug trafficking is stupid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another backward, dangerous country, that MUSTbe boycotted by the well-informed. Why anyone would still want to visit this primitive deathtrap : 2009 Jakarta bombings; Australian embassy 2004; Bali 2002, dates when people from all over the world were killed by imbecilic, fundamental muslims! To anyone who is thinking about visiting this island of ambush, forgery, swindle, oh and the minor problem of murdering innocent civilians...... go and spend money on a holiday in your own safe backyard! Poor ignorant kid is in for a rough couple of months, but when it comes to Indonesian politicians and police it is all about GREASING PALMS! If his parents cough up the money demanded by police and the other official leeches, then ol' Kenji-kun will be back in Nippon eating sushi before you can say, "Yabakatta-Yo!"

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan's power in Asia is dwindling fast..... whereas 20 years ago.... governments around Asia needed Japan's investments.... now they do not. My point.... foreign governments and courts will no longer treat the Japanese as special people.... not anymore.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Great news a country is taking seriously the dangers of drugs on the minds of teenagers

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Same old issue of having common sense and still not using it...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are a lot of misinformed uneducated and down right nasty comments about this kids situation in Bali. For those of you who are uneducated about marijuana and think this kid should be in prison think about this-most of the music you like, most of the actors you admire, most of the painters and poets you like are/ were probably marijuana smokers-add to this the entrepreneurs that have changed your life such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates Richard Branson etc etc all have admitted to being marijuana smokers. On top of this I know people who have spent time in prison in Bali. Do you know how they spent there time? They bought marijuana from the prison guards. Oh and by the way--I'm a drinker but it is well known that alcohol causes cancer, especially for 30 percent of the Japanese who lack the enzyme to break it down properly into a safer chemical....on top of this- another study has just been published in the media that a compound in marijuana has been found to be the most hopefull new find in the fight against aggresive cancers.Here's the link http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Pot-compound-seen-as-tool-against-cancer-3875562.php. Wake up people--even if you have tried marijuana and it wan't good for you -it is a medicean for many people--the reason it is illegal is because of politics, ignorance and evil people with an agenda that is too complicated to go into here...........

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seventeen years old. Oh man, the average Japanese 17-year-old is like the average 12-year-old in Western societies, in terms of social skills and critical thinking ability. Poor kid. I don't condone drug use at all (and a boy of that age should be studying, not sitting around smoking!) but I hope this lad gets off easy.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A 16 year old is capable of getting up to enough mischief on his own free will, I certainly did when I was his age. I hope he gets off lightly though as nobody deserves to spend 12 years in jail for that petty crime. Hopefully he can learn from the bad experience and shock hes already had and get on with his life in a positive way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites