TOKYO (TR) – The National Police Agency on Thursday announced that arrests connected to a special type of synthetic drug rose by nearly 500 percent in 2014 over the year before, reports Nippon News Network (March 5).
Last year, police made 840 arrests related to so-called “dangerous drugs,” an increase of 664 over the year before.
Possession and use of such drugs, which have chemical structures that can vary in order to exploit loopholes in the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, had not been illegal until revised legislation went into effect in April of last year.
Of the 840 arrests connected to dangerous drugs, 340 were for possession and use. Deaths caused by usage of the drugs totaled 112 victims, an increase of 103, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun (March 5).
The number arrests following traffic accidents caused by dangerous drugs jumped to 160, an increase of 400 percent over 2013.
Police believe that the chemicals used to make the drugs are smuggled into Japan from China. In stemming production and sale of the drugs in Japan, law enforcement also busted 13 factories and 95 shops nationwide in 2014.