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U.S. Embassy again says ‘spiked drink’ cases on rise in Roppongi, Kabukicho

A woman holds an umbrella in the Kabukicho red-light district in June
A woman holds an umbrella in the Kabukicho red-light district on June 13

TOKYO (TR) – The Embassy of the United States on Friday again issued a warning to its citizens regarding continuing reports of theft or fraud that result from “drink spiking” incidents taking place at bars and clubs in major entertainment areas of the capital.

“Some of Tokyo’s entertainment and nightlife districts — in particular, the Roppongi and  Kabukicho areas — have a higher level of crime compared to other parts of the city,” the warning said. “The Embassy recommends that you use caution in all entertainment and nightlife districts throughout Japan. Complaints of robberies committed after a victim has been drugged from a spiked drink are increasing. The Embassy also receives reports of credit card fraud, extortion, and even assault in these districts.”

Though the warning emphasized that “hundreds of thousands of tourists have safe and enjoyable visits to Tokyo,” it suggested that tourists not bring credit cards, go clubbing alone, enter a bar through an invitation from a street tout or accept a free drink. “If you believe you have been a victim of a crime, contact the police right away,” the message said. “You should also immediately call the Embassy.”

The warning also advised against the use of illegal drugs. “Remember that possession or use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, are serious crimes in Japan,” it said. “Convictions for drug offenses result in lengthy sentences.”

Each year since 2014, the Embassy has issued similar warnings.