China Executes Japanese Drug Smuggler, Three More to Come

Mitsunobu Akano, age 65, of Japan was caught with 1.5 kilos of meth in China. He was executed yesterday. Under Chinese law, offenses involving more than 50 grams of heroin or meth carry the death penalty.

When caught, Akano was attempting to bring the drugs from China to Japan. China plans to execute three more Japanese citizens this week:

Beijing told Japan last week that it plans to execute three more Japanese drug smugglers this week - Teruo Takeda, 67, from Nagoya city; Hironori Ukai, 48, from Gifu prefecture; and Katsuo Mori, 67, of Fukushima prefecture.

Why are the Japanese going to China to get meth? One has to assume Chinese law enforcement forced the Japanese to give up their sources before killing them. Did China track down the meth producers and kill them too? Probably. (Unless they caught the producers first, who then ratted out their Japanese purchasers.) There's really no way to know. [More...]

China says it imposes its death penalty without regard to national origin. It just doesn't like to talk about it. China won't disclose how many people it executes -- they say it's a "state secret." Amnesty International's 2009 report on the death penalty found 714 executions in 18 countries. But it believes China's number alone could be in the thousands. Barbarism.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Even in China there's STILL drugs (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by SeeEmDee on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 07:13:02 AM EST
    Even with the most Draconian measures employed, the drug trade flourishes...and you could say that that is because of those Draconian measures that the illegal drug trade is so lucrative.

    And to think, that a hundred years ago before the beginning of the DrugWar (yes, it's been going on much longer than it's supposed advent with Tricky Dick) we didn't have the kinds of problems associated with drug dealing as we do today.

    An addict could get a fix for pennies on the dollar at (what else?) a real drug store. No drive-by shootings, no corruption of public officials via drug money bribery, no diminution of rights and liberties in order to 'protect' us from inanimate objects, no testosterone-poisoned police acting like jackbooted thugs invading innocent people's homes and terrorizing and/or killing them, etc.

    So...which is worse? Making the stuff legal again and controlling purity and access via a State-controlled apparatus? Or leaving the status quo in place?

    Seeing as the economy is still on life-support, and that we really cannot afford to spend more money on a hopelessly impossible task like drug prohibition, when tens of millions are facing destitution and need that money for Unemployment and shelter assistance to survive, the answer should be obvious.

    Drugs were different then (none / 0) (#2)
    by observed on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 10:48:49 AM EST
     People can't cope with high potency man-made derivatives of natural substances the way they could with opium or coca leaves.
    Proponents of legalizing drugs are off base if they want to compare to life 100 years ago.
    Decriminalize drug  use and subsitute treatment for jail time? Sure.
    Legalize all recreational drugs? You've got to be kidding.

    HUh? (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 11:26:26 AM EST
    People can't cope with high potency man-made derivatives of natural substances the way they could with opium or coca leaves.

    For one, you cannot compare opium to coca leaves, and two people have not been able to "cope" with the addictive qualities of Opium for a few thousand years.

    Here is a timeline to get you started regarding the history of Opium.


    I have no idea what you are trying to say. (none / 0) (#8)
    by observed on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 01:17:48 PM EST
    Are you saying that people have never been able to cope with opium?  Maybe so, I'm not an opium user or scholar. I thought that the modern opiates had even worse addiction properties than opium itself though.
    Do you agree with me that processed cocaine is much harder to handle than coca leaves? That was my point.

    Like most people with a 3rd grade education or more, I do know that opium is an ancient drug, so I don't know what the point of your timeline is.

    If your aim is to distinguish between the threat and danger of different drugs, then we are in agreement. I would never support legalizing meth, or coke or heroin. I support pot legalization with taxation; I also think the government should discourage pot use just as it discourages tobacco use.

    A final aside: I don't believe that blanket legalization of "recreational" drugs could be done without releasing restrictions on pharamaceutical drugs for illness, the latter being a terrible idea.


    Call em 'crazy' then (none / 0) (#12)
    by SeeEmDee on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 10:43:31 AM EST
    The issue here is not one of potency, but pragmatism.

    By your reasoning, distilled spirits should be banned...and we already know what happened when we tried that, don't we? The social costs then were the same as those society bears now...only now, the situation has become aggravated due to the enormous profitability of illegal drugs and the maintenance of prohibition regarding those drugs.

    Leaving any bolthole for organized crime to crawl into, such as RElegalizing some drugs while leaving some drugs illegal, is only going to prolong the madness, not ameliorate it. Like as not, it will have to be all of them.

    Furthermore...how many would willingly try, say, legal opium...if they had access to legal cannabis? Most illicit drug users want cannabis and nothing else. And as to the more destructive drugs such as crack, its' use has plummeted as its' users either died out or got straight...and those around them who saw first-hand that destructiveness rejected offers from dealers as they saw where those who accepted that invitation wound up. Give people a choice of legal cannabis compared with other substances, and they'll choose cannabis the majority of the time.

    So, we have a choice: we can continue to ineffectively bankrupt ourselves in the name of "Saving the childrennnnnn!" (who laugh up their sleeves at their parent's naivete as they're toking up behind little Johnny's house) or we can wrest control away from the cartels (as we did from the bootleggers) and prevent unimpeded sales to minors by illegal dealers by RElegalizing their wares and requiring 'carding'.  

    But it has to be all or nothing. Anything esle just 'prolongs the agony'...and makes the cartels richer and the rest of us poorer, thanks to tax money squandered 'fighting' said cartels that could have been used for better purposes.


    I do not see and I can not imagine (none / 0) (#5)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 11:50:36 AM EST
    a time where the government of the US will just let people go buy and use as much Heroin (for instance) as they like.  It would be a monumental disaster for society.  Many people do not use they stuff that is illegal because it is illegal.  When that is no longer the case, it will have to be regulated, it will be without a doubt.  That means there will still be an illegal drug trade with all the horrors attached to it and MORE addicts to get involved.  The idea that we are going to send them all to rehab, clan out the prisons and tax the sellers is juvenile and laughable.  When I hear liberals and libertarians give their talking points about how everything would be better ith legalization, it makes me wonder if there is any group of people immune to poorly thought out but intelligent sounding talking points.
    It is like arguing for legalizing prostitution, the people that are most in need of being prostitutes would never pass the licensing regulations...... voila, no soluton.

    I can .. and it won't be a disaster (none / 0) (#7)
    by nyrias on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 12:39:24 PM EST
    You just have to have some control like alcohol. People are saying EXACTLY the same thing about alcohol during the prohibition.

    Is it a monumental disaster now when alcohol is available to adults (with limitations such as no drinking while driving)?

    A intermediate approach regarding drugs is probably better. You will still have laws regarding the selling & consumption and it won't be people sniffing coke on every street corner. But a little bit of legal outlet will kill the associated crime completely.


    no no no. Turn it around.l (none / 0) (#9)
    by observed on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 01:19:57 PM EST
    Alcohol abuse IS a disaster of monumental proportions. However, it has proved impossible to restrict alcohol use (I'm not in favor of it).
    If you legalize heroin, cocaine, etc., you are enabling another sector of society to become wreckage. Of course they use drugs now. The correct policy is to decriminalize but discourage drug use.

    In China There's Still Drugs (none / 0) (#10)
    by kaleidescope on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 11:24:41 PM EST
    Really?  In every prison in the U.S. you can buy drugs and take them.

    A slightly different question: (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 11:07:54 AM EST
    What are all these retirement-age people doing allegedly dealing or carrying drugs?

    they left their wealth in risky markets (none / 0) (#6)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 11:59:41 AM EST
    rather than changing their investments to wealth saving products, they risked it to get wealthier and...oh well.

    Why we should consider legalization (none / 0) (#11)
    by otherlisa on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 03:31:29 AM EST
    of some drugs and decriminalization of others.

    Read this very interesting Stratfor analysis of Mexico, in which they conclude that the narco-trafficking that has overwhelmed that country does not mean it is a "failed state," but rather:

    Ultimately, Mexico is a failed state only if you accept the idea that its goal is to crush the smugglers. If, on the other hand, one accepts the idea that all of Mexican society benefits from the inflow of billions of American dollars (even though it also pays a price), then the Mexican state has not failed -- it is following a rational strategy to turn a national problem into a national benefit.

    It lays out US options as follows:
    The United States has a number of choices. It could accept the status quo. It could figure out how to reduce drug demand in the United States while keeping drugs illegal. It could legalize drugs, thereby driving their price down and ending the motivation for smuggling. And it could move into Mexico in a bid to impose its will against a government, banking system and police and military force that benefit from the drug trade.

    The United States does not know how to reduce demand for drugs. The United States is not prepared to legalize drugs. This means the choice lies between the status quo and a complex and uncertain (to say the least) intervention. We suspect the United States will attempt some limited variety of the latter, while in effect following the current strategy and living with the problem.

    I don't know about you, but illegal drugs were readily available when I was younger. I could get them any time I wanted to. I'm sure that things aren't so different now, but if drugs were suddenly legal or greatly decriminalized, I'm still not going to run out and start shooting heroin. I don't believe we will incur a higher social cost from drug legalization/decriminalization than we incur now from massive criminalization and transnational corruption.