Chapter II.
Sectoral Analysis of the International Situation and Japan's Foreign Policy

Section 3.
Efforts toward the realization of a better global society

E. Transnational organized crime and drugs

a) Transnational organized crime

Transnational organized crime has emerged in recent years as the dark side of the advance of globalization, becoming an increasingly severe problem for the international community and bringing a great urgency to the strengthening of international cooperation mechanisms and the development of international legal frameworks. The United Nations and the G8 play the main role in dealing with this problem in the international arena.

After the 1996 Lyon Summit of the Eight, the Senior Experts' Group on Transnational Organized Crime of the Eight (the so-called Lyon Group) had considered measures to combat activities such as the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms and high-tech crimes. In regard to high-tech computer crimes in particular, a Meeting of Justice and Interior Ministers of the Eight, held in December 1997, resulted in the adoption of a communique which included a 10-point action plan of measures, such as stipulating 24-hour contact points in the various countries, to allow quick cooperation in responding to such crimes. At the Birmingham Summit in May 1998, the issue of transnational organized crime occupied a central place on its agenda. The summit members unanimously supported the results of work by the Lyon Group and agreed to quickly implement the 10 principles and 10-point action plan to fight high-tech crime adopted at the ministerial level. The members also agreed to make efforts to combat corruption of public officials. Following these decisions, a Meeting of Justice and Interior Ministers of the Eight was held in December 1998 using a teleconference system. Japan chairs the group on the manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms and has also been actively engaged in joint work with the other G8 members in the various crime areas.

Major progress has been made in the framework of the United Nations toward creation of a comprehensive convention to prevent and crack down on transnational organized crime, and a resolution adopted by the General Assembly in December included the decision to advance the creation of a comprehensive convention on transnational organized crime, as well as to consider protocols on the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, smuggling of migrants and trafficking in women and children.

b) Drugs

The United Nations, particularly the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), is dealing actively with drug issues, which are posing an increasingly severe problem worldwide. Following up on the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drug Abuse in 1990 and the UN General Assembly Special Meeting on Drugs in 1993, another UN Special Session on Drug Abuse was held in June 1998 in reflection of the current state of drug abuse, including abuse by increasingly young users and the growing abuse of ATS. This Special Session, with the attendance of U.S. President Clinton, French President Jacques Chirac and many other government leaders, including Japanese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Koumura, appealed to the world to take measures against ATS abuse and drug abuse in youth and to promote international cooperation. The final day saw the adoption of a political declaration and six other documents which stipulated a new international anti-drug strategy toward the 21st century.

Based on these international efforts against drugs, Japan has actively supported the activities of the UNDCP and has also contributed millions of dollars annually since 1991, despite the strained domestic fiscal situation. Aside from the UNDCP, Japan also supports the activities of international institutions involved in the fight against drugs-the Inter-American Commission for Drug Abuse Control (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Drug Advisory Plan within the Colombo Plan (DAP), and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-through donations and subscriptions.

In terms of bilateral assistance too, Japan is engaged in technical cooperation for crime prevention and crackdowns, as well as capital and technical cooperation for alternative development, such as the cultivation of alternative crops in place of drug crops, and awareness-raising activities. In particular, Japan co-hosted, with the Government of Myanmar and the UNDCP, the "Regional Seminar on Eradication of Opium Cultivation and Development of Crop Substitution" from March to April 1998 in Myanmar. In July, Japan worked with the UNDCP to assist the Myanmar Government with grant aid for increasing food production in order to improve the living standards of minority ethnic groups in border areas and to promote efforts to shift from opium poppy cultivation to alternative crops. In addition, Japan is a member of the Dublin Group, a forum for consultations among developed countries on drug issues, and active information exchanges and consultations are also held among these countries at group meetings.

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