The forgotten success story: Japan and the methamphetamine problem
This paper examines Japan’s policy towards methamphetamine (Japanese: hiropon). Opium has been used in Japan for medicinal purposes since 1722. However, it was strictly controlled. The result was that drug abuse was minuscule. This changed with the introduction of methamphetamine. During the Second World War hiropon was given by the military to fighter pilots and the signal corps in order to help them stay awake and alert. After 1945, the large military stockpiles of methamphetamine found their way onto the black market. With society in chaos, drug abuse spread rapidly and a hiropon epidemic emerged. The introduction of a comprehensive anti-drug package in the mid- 1950s, including stricter laws, resulted in that abuse having been almost totally eradicated by 1957. Around 1970 a new wave of abuse (‘the second epidemic’) began. It peaked around 1985, after which abuse tampered off, albeit slowly. A temporary increase in the mid-1990s made Japanese authorities declare the emergence of ‘the third epidemic’ that is still said to be ongoing. Official statistics show, however, that Japan has not seen any such epidemic. In comparison with most other Western countries, methamphetamine abuse in Japan is modest.
Japan`s Policy towards the South China Sea – Applying “Proactive Peace Diplomacy”?
Japan’s policy towards the South China Sea (SCS) is likely to have a considerable bearing on the future shape of the regional order in this region although ultimately US-China competition […]
Imitated or ignored? Foreign Firms in Japan
Inward foreign direct investment (FDI) has often been touted as a possible source of economic growth for Japan. For years, economists have argued that an influx of foreign capital and operations would have a positive […]
Remorse and Reform: Abe’s Stormy Spring
From apologizing for Japan’s wartime past to collective defense and FTA negotiations with the United States, Japan faces a number of contentious issues in the coming months that call into […]
Understanding China’s Position on the South China Sea Disputes
Rich in fisheries, potential energy resources, surrounded by rapidly developing states, and encompassing strategic transport routes, the South China Sea has become a focal point for territorial and maritime disputes with tensions […]
Beijing, Hanoi should look beyond disputes
China and Vietnam observe the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year. While the occasion provides a special opportunity for deepening bilateral relations, the two countries have […]
Thailand is stuck in a US-China tug of war
As many analysts have cautioned, Thailand has swung closer to China’s orbit since the junta took control in May 2014. This wasn’t Nostradamus-level foresight. The US was always going to […]