National Statement by Ambassador Mitsuru KITANO, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations in Vienna 61st CND Meeting, 13 March, 2018

Madam Chair,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to you, Ambassador Alicia Buenrostro Massieu of Mexico, for your election as Chair of the 61st Session of the Commission. I assure you of Japan’s support in contributing to the success of the 61st Commission. I would also like to express Japan’s appreciation to the Secretariat for the efforts made in the preparation of this session.
(Overall Situation)
Madam Chair,
The world drug problem continues to be a serious threat to be tackled in a comprehensive and balanced manner.
In this regard, the international community needs to enhance its collective efforts towards 2019, which has been set as the target year in the Political Declaration and Plan of Action of 2009.
Japan believes the UNGASS gave us a vital opportunity to accelerate the effective implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action. The 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action as well as the UNGASS outcome document are closely related to each other. Therefore, the Commission needs to accelerate their implementation in an efficient and synergistic manner. It should also be in line with the Goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Today, I would like to briefly touch upon some of our efforts, starting with our demand reduction strategies.
(Demand Reduction)
Madam Chair,
Japan has given high priority to the prevention of drug abuse, especially in youth, by promoting a nationwide awareness-raising campaign at schools. Japan promotes effective intervention programs based on cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment and social rehabilitation of drug abusers. Through these measures, coupled with strict law enforcement activities, the lifetime prevalence rates of cannabis and methamphetamine use are only 1.0% and 0.5% respectively, according to our current study.
We recognize demand reduction approaches should be based on human rights and fundamental freedoms. In this context, Japan introduced new legal measures in 2016, which ensure a rehabilitation period for incarcerated drug abusers as an alternative to incarceration.
(Supply Reduction)
Madam Chair,
As for supply reduction, Japan attaches importance to countering the illicit trafficking of synthetic drugs, namely NPS and methamphetamine.
Japan has successfully contained the NPS problem by strengthening its domestic regulation and increasing regulated substances. We would like to contribute to the international community by sharing our information and experiences.
We have also implemented a project in cooperation with UNODC and the Russian Federation whereby police authority of Afghanistan and Central Asian countries are provided with counter narcotics training. Since its commencement, 9 sessions have been completed and 150 officers have been trained.
(Alternative Development)
Madam Chair,
Alternative Development is another priority of Japan. Japan has provided support to Afghanistan in this area for nearly 10 years. We have supported poor farmers and women in converting illicit production of opium poppy to a licit cultivation, such as roses and saffron, which has resulted in the provision of alternative livelihoods to them.
Japan upholds the idea of “human security”, which underlines the importance of human-centered, sustainable and long-term support. We suppose the alternative development effort in Afghanistan exemplifies this concept of human security.
(Japan’s contribution)
Madam Chair,
Addressing the world drug problem is a common and shared responsibility of the international community. Japan actively supports international efforts in countering illicit drugs and related transnational organized crimes.
I am happy to announce that the Government of Japan has recently pledged its largest contribution to date, 28.4 million USD, to the UNODC. This contribution will be used for projects in Afghanistan and neighboring countries, as well as in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, including projects addressing illicit drug issues as well as terrorism, transnational organized crime and corruption. Each project will start this April.
Madam Chair,
In closing, I would like to reiterate Japan’s commitment to implementing the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action as well as the UNGASS outcome document.
In this regard, Japan reaffirms that the Three International Conventions constitute the cornerstone of the international drug control system and we underscores the critical importance of complying with these Conventions.
Japan would like to continue to contribute to the valuable activities of the Commission in close cooperation with UNODC and Member States.
Thank you very much.   (end)