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January 5, 1963


JAMA. 1963;183(1):73. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700010113022

Narcotics Problem.  —Until comparatively recently, drug traffic hardly affected Japan, and the addiction problem as such was almost unknown. However, the postwar situation is different. It is generally agreed that the arrival of the occupation forces and the simultaneously occurring shifts in the population, which involved millions of people, helped to create a serious addiction problem.According to government estimates, there are roughly 200,000 addicts; 40,000 are undergoing treatment. The government is becoming aware of this condition which if unchecked may well affect the social fabric and lower the national vitality. Recently enacted narcotics laws make possible a great increase in the number of enforcing agencies, the destruction of underworld cells, the revitalization of the worldwide intelligence service, and the rounding-up of known addicts so that they can be committed to government-operated sanatoria. For a convicted dealer, the sentence may run from 10 to 20 years. At the black market

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