crime

Group of Japanese teens busted for marijuana; say 'We wanted to be like foreign musicians'

38 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Japan takes a famously hardline stance against drug possession and use. In 1980, Paul McCartney famously spent over a week in a narcotics detention center, and was then unceremoniously deported, after arriving at Narita Airport with marijuana in his luggage. More recently, Paris Hilton also only got as far as Narita in 2010 before immigration officials told her to hop right back on a plane and leave, as she wouldn’t be allowed into Japan as a result of pleading guilty to drug possession charges in the U.S.

So if being an international celebrity doesn’t earn you any extra leeway, merely wanting to be like a foreign recording star won’t either.

On May 11, the Kochi Prefectural Police announced that 12 people stand accused of marijuana distribution and possession charges, with six of them being boys who attend high school in Kochi. Also involved were a 17-year-old from neighboring Ehime Prefecture and a 57-year-old resident of Tokyo’s Suginami Ward who’s a member of a yakuza criminal organization.

Police say the 57-year-old was the initial supplier of the drugs, with the 17-year-old acting as a middleman. The six Kochi high schoolers became acquainted with the 17-year-old at concerts and music events that took place in the spring and summer of 2017, purchasing the drug from him multiple times. The six boys kept the drugs they purchased in their homes, and are suspected of further distributing it to others, although whether they sold it or gave it away is unclear.

Investigators also say that the 57-year-old supplier would mail his shipments to Ehime with the packages addressed to the 17-year-old’s father, which suggests that he also may have been complacent with the operation.

During questioning, the six Kochi boys described their motivation as “We wanted to be like foreign musicians, and so we smoked weed.”

While the popular music scene outside Japan is much more open and accepting of drug use than the J-pop sphere, it’s still a little surprising that the teens would skip over the whole playing instruments/singing aspect of being a musician and jump straight to the party/get high part. You could call it an immaturely simplistic interpretation of the recording star lifestyle, but that same immaturity also allowed them to escape adult-level criminal charges, though the Kochi kids are now all on probation, and their 17-year-old hookup has been sent to reform school.

Source: NHK News Web via Jin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Ramen restaurant owner in Osaka arrested after police discover marijuana stash inside eatery

-- High-level yakuza member arrested for possession of 17kg of salt

-- Anime voice actress arrested for suspected cocaine possession, has name scrubbed from series cast

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments
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During questioning, the six Kochi boys described their motivation as “We wanted to be like foreign musicians, and so we smoked weed.”

Once again, blame it on the foreigners. More fodder for the hardliners here to keep out "foreign" influence on the people!

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Those crazy foreigners smoking their semi-legal herbs!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

So these Japanese kids are smoking weed they bought from a Japanese crime syndicate inside of Japan, and yet it's still somehow foreigners fault. I've officially heard it all.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

I'm in California now. You might imagine how on occasion I entertain myself. But I would never risk it in Japan. It will remain a deportable offense until the instant it isn't.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I wonder if Snoop Frog......I mean Snoop Dogg will console them and also give them a spot on his Hood TV show.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Not that I am condoning teenagers smoking anything, but I think its time that Japan joins the 21st century and consider legalizing marajuana for recreational use.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The entire world is going legalize this stuff. Like oh so many things in Japan, they will be decades behind. Literally, my only lamentation about choosing to live here permanently is it's just too risky to light up here and probably will be for decades to come. You can only smoke and take so many edibles on trips back home (or Australia, Canada, Portugal, Holland, South Africa, etc)

4 ( +7 / -3 )

So these Japanese kids are smoking weed they bought from a Japanese crime syndicate inside of Japan, and yet it's still somehow foreigners fault. I've officially heard it all.

Bizarre isn't it. And yet the Yakuza import methamphetamine from North Korea, sometimes in league with the police:

 "A Hokkaido detective who held the police record for most firearms confiscated in a single year eventually confessed that he had cut a deal with a Hakodate yakuza gang: they gave him the guns and in return he pretended not to notice their 2-ton shipment of cannabis and crystal meth."

https://apjjf.org/2012/10/7/Andrew-Rankin/3692/article.html

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Supplier is Japanese, middleman is Japanese, users are Japanese, but somehow foreigners get pointed at!?!

15 ( +17 / -2 )

I really have no idea why the 'foreign musicians' point is part of the headline.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@DisillusionedToday  08:32 am JST

It is in quotation marks, that's why. I'm actually not as against the idea as you. Unfortunately, the West DOES have a bigger drug problem than Japan, and it is not impossible they could have been the motivation. Sometimes, people do have to recognize that they have disadvantages, rather than insisting that those disadvantages are not used against them...

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Well, if you really like imitating western musicians that much, why don't you spend some time in prison and develop an addiction like the lot of them do. Japan's level of Xenophobia in this article is just beyond reason, foreigners get blamed for everything. Why don't they blame their friends as the main culprit, peer pressure is immense at this age.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Japan takes a famously hardline stance against drug possession and use. In 1980, Paul McCartney famously spent over a week in a narcotics detention center, and was then unceremoniously deported

McCartney is a nonsense example of Japan being hardline. He was caught with over SEVEN OUNCES. 200g for you metric people. In the UK or USA, he would have gone to prison. McCartney got off super lightly.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This says more about the negative influence of TV/PC music, and Gansta Rap music in particular. Serious rock musicians, last time I checked, don't sit around bobbing their heads up and down trying to look cool by blowing smoke into the cameras. They just can't do that in Japan. So where else is the motivation supposed to come from? Duh

On the other hand

Maybe that little bit of "free time" wised them up a bit and by using foreign music TV/PC videos as an excuse would lighten the punishment. That is of course they somehow managed to get back stage with a band, in another country, and that's where they were influenced. Yeah right.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I really have no idea why the 'foreign musicians' point is part of the headline."

You clicked on the article and are here commenting so you have your answer.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You clicked on the article and are here commenting so you have your answer.

Heh, that's why I clicked it!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kids, the 1st step in becoming like foreign musicians is to make music and not smoke weed

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The entire world is going legalize this stuff. Like oh so many things in Japan, they will be decades behind.

No, the entire world is not legalizing this stuff. The western-European world maybe, but that's a far cry from the entire world. I don't know of any Asian countries legalizing it.

It's a very ethnocentric idea to think that any country that doesn't mimic the west is "behind." Maybe they are just cautious. Not everything the west does is progress. Sometimes it's the opposite.

I am fine with legalizing the stuff in the west, by the way. I just object to calling any country with a different approach "behind."

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So because of the FOREIGN INFLUENCE these KIDS will get a suspended sentence!!

damn pot smoking foreigners ruining the lives of these poor little innocent KIDS,shame shame shame :-/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Stupid headline and stupid article.  Yes, Japan may think it is "famously hardline" on drugs but dope is pretty freely (if expensively" available in most big cities and even large towns.

agree, the McCartney example is a hackneyed one.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This Sora, NHK, Jin, JT article is quoting the unusual excuse that the kids gave. This excuse seems to have worked to some degree.

Quote: 'During questioning, the six Kochi boys described their motivation as “We wanted to be like foreign musicians, and so we smoked weed.” ... You could call it an immaturely simplistic interpretation of the recording star lifestyle, but that same immaturity also allowed them to escape adult-level criminal charges, though the Kochi kids are now all on probation, and their 17-year-old hookup has been sent to reform school.'

If we need someone to criticize here, then it must surely be the judge who gave credence to such a lame excuse.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not everything the west does is progress. Sometimes it's the opposite.

I am fine with legalizing the stuff in the west, by the way. I just object to calling any country with a different approach "behind."

I agree, but in this case, the west's legalization of pot is in my opinion a good thing (progress).

And considering that it is the US (GHQ) that made pot illegal in Japan right after WWII, I can't see why Japan should continue with this US-imposed restriction.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I reckon quite a few posters are being overly defensive & sensitive here. Don't think anyone's blaming us gaijin tbh.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Kazuaki

 Unfortunately, the West DOES have a bigger drug problem than Japan, and it is not impossible they could have been the motivation. Sometimes,

Dude...you have a Japanese name so I assume you are Japanese.

Japan has a huge recreational drug problem. You just don't know it, and the media doesn't report it.

Like many negative aspects that Japan doesn't talk about, there are as bad, if not worse than the west.

Trust me...it's there.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Just think of how much better the country would be at English is all teenage boys wanted to be like foreign musicians....

Once again, blame the gaijin. Plenty of Japanese "role models" here well known for liking their weed.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why isn’t the yakuza man named?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow, lots of paranoia among the foreigners here - you wouldn't by any chance be.... Nah.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This article is written by a foreigner, isn't it? Why do I have the feeling that it was first written by a Japanese person and then clumsily translated? The author must have spent at least 20 years here to get this perspective.

Also, @Disillusioned, always the best comments!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan will not change in a long time.

Japan loves rules, and reason be damned. The only hope for change would be medical related, the gateway drug.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@maybeperhapsyesToday 12:53 pm JST

Trust me...it's there.

I acknowledge its significant and there. But the figures commonly rolling around suggest it IS indeed a much lesser problem in Japan, by an order of magnitude:

That said, drug use in Japan appears to be significantly lower than the figures reported abroad. According to statistics compiled by the health ministry in February, 0.4 percent of the Japanese population aged between 15 and 64 years old have tried stimulants at least once in their life. In the United States, 5.1 percent of the population over the age of 12 has tried meth at least once. Meanwhile, 41.9 percent of Americans have tried marijuana at least once in their life, compared to 1.2 percent of the Japanese population.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2014/08/23/lifestyle/dealing-addiction-japans-drug-problem/#.WvvksqQiPZY

(not exactly the most pro-Japanese paper)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not that I am condoning teenagers smoking anything, but I think its time that Japan joins the 21st century and consider legalizing marajuana for recreational use.

Wrong century to be considering it, try back in the 22nd or 23rd and then maybe something will change!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How do you make a plant illey?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Illegal

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has a huge recreational drug problem. You just don't know it, and the media doesn't report it.

Like many negative aspects that Japan doesn't talk about, there are as bad, if not worse than the west. Trust me...it's there.

Sorry, but no way that's right. Maybe among your friends, but not among mine or (more importantly) among my kids friends. Virtually every parent I know in the USA has to navigate the drug minefield, and it's a real issue for their kids. It affects everybody. Here, it affects a small segment of society. You'll have to provide better evidence than "trust me."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How do you make a plant illey? Illegal

The plant is not illegal. Intentional cultivation, distribution and use as a drug is illegal. You can always argue that it shouldn't be, but the "it's just a plant" argument is little more than a diversion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Until the end of the war the country grew marijuana. The village in Nagano next to my wife's home village is called Miasa (美麻村 Miasa-mura, lit. "beautiful hemp village"). Sometimes I came across it in the mountains when I was out painting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Japanese ostracize everyone & anyone who uses drugs. Even something as petty as marijuana. I don’t use, but back in the 80’s i did. No biggy.

Today in CA it’s legal. And all I hear about are all the young Japanese coming here to visit or surf the local beaches & getting high. The Japanese should open up a little. They’re always binge-drinking & chain smoking. Way worse than a little pot .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I read the article and I'm still waiting for the part where it says the destructive and dangerous path of crime these kids caused because of some sensimania. People get so up in arms about ganja. Give the kids a talking to and focus on the yakuza guy who sent them the spliff as to where does he get it from.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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