Drug-related arrests at highest level since 2004
According to statistics by the Okinawa Prefectural Police, the total number of people nabbed in Okinawa for cannabis and other drug-related offenses in 2016 rose to 175 that is the highest since 2004. Cannabis-related offenses counted for all of the increase while the number of stimulant and other drug-related arrests declined.
Last year, police seized a total of 632kg of stimulant drugs, including a 600-kilogram heist of cannabis from a Taiwanese yacht in one case. The amount was the largest ever.
According to Okinawa Police officials, “The amount of drugs imported from overseas is apparently increasing. It’s possible that overseas criminal gangs work together with Japanese gangs to transfer drugs to mainland Japan with Okinawa as a transit point.”
The number of people held for cannabis-related criminal offenses was 79, 22 more than in 2015 that had set the previous record. The number of persons arrested for stimulant offenses declined by five from 2015, and the number of personnel who was related to other drugs declined by ten from 2015.
Most of cannabis-related offenders were in their teens or 20’s. Those nabbed for stimulants were in their 30’s ro 40’s.
The Prefectural Police suspect that users of hard drugs may have reverted to cannabis because of the revised Japanese Pharmaceuticals Law.