Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2005 > Chapter 2 Details about Japan's ODA > Section 2. Measures for Each of the Priority Issues > 3. Addressing Global Issues > (9) International Organized Crimes

(9) International Organized Crimes

With the advancement of globalization, development of high-tech devices, and increased human mobility, among other factors, large-scale and systematic international organized crimes, which are committed across national borders, are having a serious impact on the maintenance of security. In recent years, the methods of international organized crimes have become even more sophisticated than before. Main examples of such crimes include illegal trafficking of drugs and weapons, smuggling of stolen goods, corporate crimes and economic crimes such as fraud and usurpations, counterfeiting of currency and credit cards, corruption, financial crimes such as tax evasion and money laundering, prostitution, illegal immigration, as well as human trafficking of women and children. To respond to these international organized crimes, it is necessary for each country to enhance its countermeasures, and to eliminate legal loopholes by enhancing partnerships through international cooperation in the area of justice and law enforcement, and by other means.

    International organized crimes are crimes which transcend national borders. There is a limit to the countermeasures which can be achieved through the efforts of one country alone for such crimes. Japan is making active contributions to deliberations and cooperation for establishing rules and measures related to international organized crimes though international organizations and frameworks such as the UN and G8. Since international criminal organizations use countries with lax legislation and regulations as bases for their criminal activities, strengthening legal systems in each country contributes to countering international organized crimes.

    Smuggling and stowaways coming into Japan mainly use maritime routes. There is a limit to the extent that the efforts of one country alone can stop crimes at the border, so the Government of Japan holds seminars with the objective of enhancing both the law enforcement capacity of Asian countries and coordination with those countries. Specifically, Japan hosted the Maritime Law Enforcement Seminar in the Philippines, the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Seminar in Tokyo, and the Maritime Law Enforcement Training in Fukuoka, among others. Japan aims to enhance both the law enforcement capacity of coast guards in Asian countries and coordination with them. Furthermore, it implements technology transfers in order to appropriately deal with international organized maritime crimes, including the smuggling of narcotics and weapons, stowaways, and others.

Training for arrestment skills at the Maritime Law Enforcement Seminar (Photo: Japan Coast Guard)
Training for arrestment skills at the Maritime Law Enforcement Seminar (Photo: Japan Coast Guard)

    Human trafficking is also a challenge that has to be addressed internationally. Japan established the Inter-Ministerial Liaison Committee (Task Force) regarding measures to combat trafficking in persons in April 2004, and the committee adopted a comprehensive Action Plan of Measures to Combat Trafficking in Persons in December of the same year. Currently the Government of Japan is implementing a variety of measures in accordance with this action plan. The Diet approved the conclusion of the Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children in June 2005. Since September 2004 government delegations have visited Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Colombia, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, and other countries, and has held discussions with the relevant authorities. Moreover, through the Trust Fund for Human Security and other means, Japan has provided assistance for various projects aimed at eradicating human trafficking. One recent example was the provision in March 2006 of assistance worth approximately US$2 million to the Economic and Social Empowerment of Returned Victims of Trafficking Project being implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Thailand and the Philippines. Furthermore, Japan is actively involved in raising awareness on this issue. For example, in February 2006 the International Symposium on Trafficking in Persons was held at the United Nations University.

    Furthermore, the frequent use of forged or altered passports in international organized crimes is also becoming an issue. For this reason, Japan has held Seminars on Document Examination since 1995. The purposes of this seminar are to exchange information, such as information about document examination skills, with document examiners and other personnel at immigration control agencies of Southeast Asian and Pacific Rim countries, develop mutual cooperative relationships, improve skills, and contribute to the proper and smooth administration of immigration of those countries and regions. At the eleventh seminar held in February 2006 there was an active exchange of information.