Statement by Mr. Hidehiko Hamada, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan at the 57th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Item 9
Japan has given high priority to anti-drug measures in our development assistance policy and does this from a human security perspective. We have continued to support the UNODC’s alternative development projects and we reaffirm that alternative development policies play an important role in national or regional development and in the fight against poverty.
Today, there are many unsolved challenges and we witness new trends such as increasing illicit production of methamphetamine in West Africa. It is important to continue to tackle illicit cultivation of coca or opium poppy, but also crucial to consider the risks, which could result from producers shifting to illicit production of synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine as a result of the lower hurdles to entering this market, after the reduction or eradication of illicit production of crops. Here we would like to highlight the importance of tackling the problem related to the spread of synthetic drugs at the same time, as part of a comprehensive approach of supply reduction policies.
The activity of transnational drug trafficking organizations has been expanding, and it is now essential for us to promote information exchange with law enforcement agencies of other countries and for us all to fight against these organizations in cooperation.
Firstly, in order to contribute to the development and progress of the ability to prosecute drug crime in relevant countries, the National Police Agency, NPA, has held a "Seminar on Control of Drug Offenses" in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency every year since 1962. In order to strengthen the international network on investigation of international drug crime, the NPA this year held the nineteenth Asia-Pacific Operational Drug Enforcement Conference, focusing on the "Fight against ATS trafficking and transnational criminal organizations".
Secondly, in order to prevent large-scale drug smuggling at sea in the Asia-Pacific region, the Japan Coast Guard has annually hosted the "Maritime Law Enforcement Seminar" in various countries in Asia. As a next step, the Japan Coast Guard is planning this year to host a new meeting named "EMLEP: Enhancing Maritime Law Enforcement Project" aimed at strengthening cooperative relationship among the anti-narcotic agencies and maritime law enforcement agencies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Customs analysis on illicit drugs and other goods ensures the security and safety of our society. In order to improve the customs analysis capabilities of the member states, it would be more efficient and effective to conduct cooperation through firmly established frameworks. Thus Japan Customs is promoting the establishment of a new framework to facilitate better cooperation in this field, which is called the “Regional Customs Laboratory Initiative”.
Finally, I would like to stress that the international community needs to tackle the problem of illicit drugs by reaffirming a comprehensive approach based on common and shared responsibility. Japan will continue its efforts in this field as a leading donor and also as a responsible member of the international community.