Located in the Pacific Ocean, the island country of Japan is an economic superpower, with the world's second-largest gross domestic product. An outlier in many global trends, it has never experienced the same rates of drug use as other wealthy industrialized countries. Even during its involvement in opium trafficking in the 19th and early 20th centuries, during which the opium trafficker Hoshi Hajime even became a member of the Diet (the legislature), opium usage in Japan was low, and domestic production limited to medicinal use. In the modern day, the United Nations (UN) estimates that drug use in Japan is about a third of the global average, with most of the illegal drug traffic originating in China and North Korea. Furthermore, most drug-related arrests in ...

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