Diplomatic Bluebook 2001


C. Transnational Organized Crime and Illegal Drugs

1. Transnational Organized Crime

Transnational organized crime has emerged in recent years as the dark side of globalization. Such criminal activities are increasingly posing a severe problem to the international community and bring a great urgency to the strengthening of international cooperation mechanisms and the development of international legal frameworks. Japan is currently dealing with this international issue, mainly through the United Nations (UN) and the G8.

Under the initiative of the G8, negotiations have been underway at the United Nations since 1998 on the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), which is the first universal and comprehensive legal framework for the fight against transnational organized crime, and its three related protocols on the smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons, and illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms. At its 55th session in November, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime as well as protocols on the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons. Kiyohiro Araki, Senior State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, attended the High-Level Political Signing Conference held in Palermo, Italy in December and signed the Convention as the representative of the government of Japan.

Meanwhile in May the Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders was held in Vienna, Austria, and the "Vienna Declaration on Crime and Justice: Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-first Century," which is an exhaustive political proclamation opposing transnational organized crime, was adopted.

Other efforts are being advanced by the G8 Senior Experts Group on Transnational Organized Crime ("Lyon Group"), which was founded based on an agreement reached at the 1995 Halifax Summit. The Lyon Group continues to deliberate measures to combat diverse transnational organized crime through sub-group discussions on high-tech crime, the smuggling of persons and firearms, judicial cooperation, and law enforcement projects. Japan's active role in international efforts to combat organized crime during 2000 included organizing three Lyon Group meetings as Chair of the G8, leading the Group's discussions, and otherwise positively supporting the G8's joint anti-crime works. In addition, in May Japan and France co-chaired the first high-level meeting between the public and private sectors on measures against high-tech crime, which took place in Paris, France. At the July G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, the G8 leaders reconfirmed their support for adopting the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its related protocols by the end of the year.

2. Illegal Drugs

The international community's response to narcotics and other illegal drugs, which are posing an increasingly severe problem worldwide, is primarily taking place through the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP). Following up on the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drug Abuse in 1990 and the UN General Assembly Special Meeting on Drugs in 1993, another UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs was held in June 1998 to respond to the current situations of drug abuse, including drug abuse among increasingly younger people and the rising abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). At this Special Session, the UN General Assembly adopted a Political Declaration on Global Drug Control, which provides a guideline for new international drug countermeasures, as well as six other documents.

In light of these international anti-drug efforts, Japan has actively supported the activities of the UNDCP by contributing millions of dollars each year ever since the UNDCP was established in 1991, despite Japan's severe domestic fiscal conditions.

In January, the Fifth Asia-Pacific Operational Drug Enforcement Conference (ADEC-V) took place in Tokyo with the attendance of approximately 130 representatives from international and national drug enforcement organizations from 37 countries and regions, primarily from the Asia-Pacific region. The ADEC-V participants held seminars and exchanged views on promoting international cooperation among drug enforcement organizations. In February, the International Drug Control Summit took place in Washington, D.C. The Summit participants affirmed that international cooperation is a critical part of effective drug control. The Japanese delegation was led by Ryutaro Hashimoto, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister, who positively contributed to the deliberations.

Then in December, Japan sponsored the G8 Ad Hoc Meeting of Drug Experts held in Miyazaki, Japan. At this Ad Hoc Meeting, drug experts from the UNDCP and all G8 members agreed to strengthen international cooperation to tackle the illegal drug problem. Japan is also providing financial assistance to various international organizations aside from the UNDCP that are engaged in anti-drug efforts.

At the bilateral level, Japan is providing technical assistance to support efforts to cut off trade in illegal drugs, and is also providing funds and technical assistance to promote the introduction of alternative crops and to support anti-drug education activities. For example, Japan has been dispatching experts to Myanmar and providing other types of assistance to encourage the cultivation and widespread adoption of buckwheat as alternative crops to opium poppies. In addition, Japan is a member of the Dublin Group, a forum for consultations among developed countries on drug issues, and Japan has been actively participating in information exchanges and consultations at the Dublin Group's meetings.

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