JR Driver Arrested with Marijuana Bought from Non-Japanese

February 7, 2011

I am writing about this story for two reasons. The first is that yes, there are drugs in Japan and they are not hard to obtain. (This is contrary to how shiny, happy, mainstream media usually portrays Japan in English.)

Secondly, I’ve found that when anyone is arrested for drug possession in Japan, there is an inevitable reference to that person buying it from a “gaikokujin” AKA foreigner or non-Japanese person.

This bit of information in fact often finds its way into the title of the news article. In the case of this article, although the fact that a JR driver was caught with marijuana should be enough of a hook for the article headline, MSN makes room for the inevitable “bought it from a foreigner”.

Whether this is true or not, I have to wonder why so many articles make such an effort to point this out. Last year there were several articles about marijuana use among college students in Japan, a lot of time was spent emphasizing that the source of all the reefer madness were foreign drug dealers.

I don’t have a problem with pointing this out or even trying to do something about it, but it is yet another example of something Japan considers a problem being blamed on foreign influenced then dismissed.

Here is the article that got me ranting if anyone’s interested. I guess it’s not that big a deal in the big picture, but just the need for the news to put that little tidbit in the headline… I’m cool now.