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Cannabis, Cocaine and the Nova teachers

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craftsman

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7 NOVA teachers arrested for possessing cannabis, cocaine

Seven foreign teachers working at the NOVA English language conversation school have been arrested on suspicion of violating a law on illegal drugs and the Cannabis Control Law, police said Wednesday.

Police accuse the seven of possessing five bags containing a total of about 1.5 grams of powdered cocaine, and eight bags containing a total of about 8.2 grams of cannabis, on a street in Tokyo's Roppongi district on Nov. 19 last year.

Investigators said a 32-year-old American teacher who was arrested on the spot on the same day told police another NOVA teacher had made a request for the drugs. The 32-year-old said the drugs were purchased from a street dealer.

Six other suspects later surfaced, including a 35-year-old teacher from Canada who was working at the same classroom in Saitama Prefecture, police said. (Mainichi)
Yowch. My guess is that they'll get a hefty fine and be deported rather than imprisoned. Either way I think Nova need 7 new teachers.

It was always my understanding that, despite the risks, drug use was rampant amongst Western foreigners in the big cities of Japan. It certainly was in Tokyo in the nineties when I hung out with the modelling crowd. I'm so far removed from that modelling life that I had no idea now. From this story it seems that it is though.

In fact, I wonder how many NOVA employees this drug scandal covers. Whoever created the NOVA mascot had to be on Cannabis or Cocaine:

20050306182720jpeg-1.jpg
 
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nice gaijin

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I am comfortably under the impression that drugs are difficult to obtain, and possession spells doom for one's visa. I do not care if I am wrong about this, either, as I have no interest in that "scene" anyways.

I did see a guy with a little table in Shinjuku selling bags of something marked as "Salvia," which I'm told is a potent drug. I am unaware of its legal status in Japan, but he was selling it quite openly, which would suggest that it's either legal, or fake.
 

craftsman

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Perhaps he's dyslexic and he's selling bags of his own saliva.
 

epigene

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I found nice gaijin's post interesting and checked:

Salvia Divinorum

It's the type that's called "dappou (extralegal) drug" that appears to be in circulation among urban youths.
Thanks for another interesting bit of info! 🙂
 

Mrjones

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I am comfortably under the impression that drugs are difficult to obtain, and possession spells doom for one's visa. I do not care if I am wrong about this, either, as I have no interest in that "scene" anyways.

I did see a guy with a little table in Shinjuku selling bags of something marked as "Salvia," which I'm told is a potent drug. I am unaware of its legal status in Japan, but he was selling it quite openly, which would suggest that it's either legal, or fake.

I dont do drugs,in Japan. during ten months I have found a way how to get em. Its not really that hard.. I used to have that impression too.
 

nice gaijin

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Oh I know it's not really that hard; I've been offered them before, I just don't want anything to do with them, which is what I meant by my first paragraph.
 

senseiman

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Forget about the visa, spending time in a Japanese prison is what I'd be worried about.

In the 1990s a NOVA teacher was arrested for possessing marijuana and it caused the school a lot of damage to its business reputation. I wonder how much of an effect it'll have this time.
 

pipokun

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It took ages before a world famous musician with tons of petition from Japanese got his visa again.
Be careful.
 

MajideSaiaku

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I've never heard much on rampant Japanese drug problems, especially amongst Gaijin, but then again, plenty of folk over here have tried a joint at least once, and Japanese youth do seem more wild and un-restrained of late.

I guess why this case is more published is because its foreigners, Japans favorate scapegoat. 😊


Still, shocking.
 

Beer Baron

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I find it amazing they could split such a small amount of drugs into so many baggies! In Australia pot smoking and coke use is rampant and quite open. In japan I've met plenty of japanese people who smoke pot, and if you go to any clubs in shibuya etc you will see plenty of japanese people on ecstacy. in roppongi it's mostly people who just want to get really drunk so it's not as prevelant. I know the price of weed in japan is around 5,000 per gram (takaii desu ne!).

still, if I was working on that wage as an english teacher for nova I'd probably have a drug problem too!

disclaimer: just to be clear I've never bought or sold drugs in japan. I like nama beeru and mild sevens. it's enough for me :)
 

maushan3

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"still, if I was working on that wage as an english teacher for nova I'd probably have a drug problem too!"
Right, Tokyo is more expensive than your average U.S. city and still they earn much less. I would work as an English teacher just for the experience of living in Japan.

I think people should so what they like, whether it is drugs, promiscuity, etc. as long as they don't affect other people's lives.
 

Kanpai Quigley

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All I know is, I better just quit now and save myself the misery after I move... :)
 

Beer Baron

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"still, if I was working on that wage as an english teacher for nova I'd probably have a drug problem too!"
Right, Tokyo is more expensive than your average U.S. city and still they earn much less. I would work as an English teacher just for the experience of living in Japan.
I think people should so what they like, whether it is drugs, promiscuity, etc. as long as they don't affect other people's lives.

yeah for sure. 25man a month pre-tax is not a massive amount of money in tokyo by any stretch. would be 'ok' somewhere out of big cities but it's horrible that they pay so little. but i guess not many people would do it for a career. it's just a way to spend a year in japan and have fun and not work too hard. I could never do it. I'd be spending that months pay in a week. hell the appartment I stayed at last time in tokyo was 23 man in rent a month so that would leave me 2 man to spend!!! on the flipside I work a lot more than 4 or 5 hours a day :( but I'd rather work AND have the money, that just relax with no money.

BTW, I should add that although conversation english teacher salary is very low, dont think all jobs are. I have friends now working in japan permanently and they do quite well. around 10,000,000 per year + bonus is not uncommon. but again they are not what you'd call 'cruisy' jobs. long hours, lots of stress etc. but I think it's worth it. :)

as for doing what you want if it doesn't impact on other people. i agree, if they wont to do coke etc that's fine, but they need to remember as guests in japan they are subject to japanese law, and now having broken it they will be subject to japanese punishment too. :(
 

maushan3

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"as for doing what you want if it doesn't impact on other people. i agree, if they wont to do coke etc that's fine, but they need to remember as guests in japan they are subject to japanese law, and now having broken it they will be subject to japanese punishment too."

Amen, Couldn't put it better
 

TGI-ECT

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I think people should so what they like, whether it is drugs, promiscuity, etc. as long as they don't affect other people's lives.
The problem with this thinking and drugs is that you are talking about supply.

Who supplies? Somebody coming across the border with an illegal cargo, yes?

Now we have law enforcement involved and that can lead to trouble. Even death for a law enforcement officer, no?

That's a pretty serious "affect" on somebody's life, no?

Now if the government allows it to be legal, fine. But if it's illegal and organized crime is involved -- bad news. And organized crime is most definitely involved in drug smuggling. Even criminal states are involved.

.
 

pipokun

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ナスツ?窶ーテェナ陳ァナ遅ツ甲窶ーテェツ渉絶?堙坂?愿アツ十ナスO窶愿コツ、ナスツゥ窶佚ョ窶堙??佚・窶独停?堙ーツ焦?ナスツ昶?堋オ窶堙??堋「窶堋ス窶堙??堋オ窶堙??佚・窶独椎ステヲ窶凖キ窶邸ヒ?。窶敖ス窶堙娯?ケ^窶堋「窶堙?、窶「ツ絶?伉コツ青ウ窶ケ`ナ陳ウ窶伉?窶佛?(72)窶堙娯?卍キ窶冕窶堙?陳ウナスツ?窶ーテェ窶「ツカ窶ーツサ窶兒窶佚・ツ鞘?「窶ケツウナステカ窶堙娯?「ツ絶?伉コツ俊ヒ?ェ窶覇窶ケ^ナステ?44)ツ?≫?慊ッナ陳ァナ津寂?愿ャナスs窶ーテ?陳ゥツ?≫?堙ーツ催??佚溪?「テ淞、ツ催遺?堙昶?堙、窶堋ォ窶覇窶ケ^ナステ?44)窶堙?、ナスo窶堙?青ウ窶ケ`ナスツ≫?堙娯?卍キツ鞘?披?配ナスq窶覇窶ケ^ナステ?46)窶堙ー窶佚溪?「テ溪?堋オ窶堋スツ。
Shiga, police arrested ex-assitant profecer, Shunichi Takemura aged 44, his wife and his sister on suspicion of violating the Cannabis Control Law.
Their father was ex-financial minister (retired).

http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20070223p2a00m0na020000c.html
OTSU -- The eldest son of former Finance Minister Masayoshi Takemura and the son's wife face charges for possessing marijuana, police said Friday.
Edit: added article in English
 
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pipokun

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http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/Php/kiji.php3?&d=20070217&j=0022&k=200702176355
ナスD窶佚・窶堙娯?「テ?坂?伉人ツ講ナスt窶堋ェ窶独停?禿イツ焦?ナスツ敖 窶督ァ窶昶?樞?禿壺?廬窶堋ゥツ 窶佚・窶独停?堙遺?堙?000窶毒凪?ー~窶佛?窶懌?
窶慊ッ窶覇窶ケ^ナステ停?堙債「ナスツゥ窶「ツェ窶堙??ケz窶堋、窶堋ス窶堙溪?堙「ツ、ナ陳、窶ケ窶?窶堙娯?堋ス窶堙溪?堋セ窶堙≫?堋スツ」窶堙??ケナクツ述窶堋オ窶堙??堋「窶堙ゥ
A lecturer in Sapporo arrested for possessing 60,000,000JPY worth drugs
The suspect told investigators that it was for himself as well as for his reserch purpose.
It might be plausible if he is a medical doctor researching Eikaiwa education & terminally ill patients, however Sapporo University is not a medical school at all.
 

Shaka

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I am comfortably under the impression that drugs are difficult to obtain, and possession spells doom for one's visa. I do not care if I am wrong about this, either, as I have no interest in that "scene" anyways.

I did see a guy with a little table in Shinjuku selling bags of something marked as "Salvia," which I'm told is a potent drug. I am unaware of its legal status in Japan, but he was selling it quite openly, which would suggest that it's either legal, or fake.

Actuallyツ,even with permanant residency (Eijuken), you will have that revoked, and deported. Anyone with less than citizenship will be kicked out for good.
 

Pachipro

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Shaka said:
Actuallyツ,even with permanant residency (Eijuken), you will have that revoked, and deported. Anyone with less than citizenship will be kicked out for good.
I wish people would do their research first or at least know a little of what they are talking about before they go about making blanket statements.

Actually that is not true Shaka. Although I am not proud of it, I had the unfortunate experience of being caught with a miniscule amount about 18 years ago which I detailed here a while back. The amount was so small (0.021 grams) that it would probably be laughed at here in the US.

I was tried and convicted and received a suspended sentence. I was married to a Japanese at the time and had my own English school. Since I cooperated with the police, wasn't arrogant, didn't lie to them, they kept their word and didn't report my case to the newspapers. I also showed true remorse to the three judges at the trial.

Whether it was because of this I don't know, but I WAS NOT deported, I WAS ALLOWED to stay, and my visa was renewed. Also, I was never forbidden to return as I return to Japan on a yearly basis. I also knew of two other people with permanent residence visas with Japanese wives who got popped some years before and after me and they were not deported either.

It may be due to the fact that the case was not severe and that they have Japanese spouses. I don't know, but none, including myself were deported. Single people, on the other hand, with no ties to Japan, are probably deported.

My case may be almost 20 years ago, but I feel the same holds true today. If you have a Japanese spouse and a permanent residence or spouse visa, you are not deported if you are just a user. If anyone knows something different, please post it.

This story in the OP reminds me of what one detective said during my interrogation, "If I throw a stone into a group of foreigners, it will probably hit one that is doing drugs."

My advice to anyone in Japan is if you are doing drugs or smoking it stop before you get caught. Do it long enough and they will eventually catch up with you. If you are not and are thinking about it, DON'T. Going through the Japanese justice system is something I would not wish on anyone.

As for me? I haven't touched the stuff since and never will again as long as it remains illegal.
 

Anohito

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... The amount was so small (0.021 grams) that it would probably be laughed at here in the US. ...

Hmmm. I think that would depend on what jurisdiction the arrested was in. If I weren't feeling lazy I could probably go on Google and find some horror stories about people who went to prison for a long time because of possession of a mery small amount of a controlled substance.

My advice to anyone in Japan is if you are doing drugs or smoking it stop before you get caught. Do it long enough and they will eventually catch up with you. If you are not and are thinking about it, DON'T. Going through the Japanese justice system is something I would not wish on anyone.

I think that is good advice for traveling to just about any country. The only significant exception I can think of is Amsterdam, Netherlands, where usage of marijuana is pretty much ignored, from what I've read (unless the situation has changed). Me, I would want to go to Amsterdam for quite different reasons. I don't "use" anything stronger than my own coffee.
 

Uchite

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Pachipro said:
My advice to anyone in Japan is if you are doing drugs or smoking it stop before you get caught. Do it long enough and they will eventually catch up with you. If you are not and are thinking about it, DON'T. Going through the Japanese justice system is something I would not wish on anyone.
I agree. I know a guy who was not only smoking it in his close friend's (who would also do it also - an Okinawan believe it or not!) upstairs apartment (which was very close to the neighbors) from him, but also growing it in that apartment! 😲 When he showed me this, I almost lost it out of disbelief and paranoia. He assured me it was "cool". 👍 We would go up there nightly to drink large Asahi's and listen to music while his future wife slept downstairs (she did not participate, but knew exactly what was going on up there), while he would spark up. :music: :smoke: He used a Malt's beer can as a homemade pipe/bong. ☝ I could not believe it. 😲
Luckily, nothing ever happened! 😌
 

pipokun

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ニ椎槌嘆ニ竪窶ーテ固スティツ「窶啾ツ−窶嗄窶喇窶嗄窶喨窶啻窶喩ツ」窶佚・窶独陳焦?ナスツ昶?堙??佚溪?「テ
ヒ?、窶冦ナ陳ァナ遅ツ春窶愿コヒ?、ツ渉絶?堙遺?堙??堙最?ツ」窶倪?。窶佚・窶独停?堙ーナスツゥ窶佚ョ窶堙俄?ーB窶堋オナスツ昶?堙≫?堙??堋「窶堋ス窶堙遺?堙??堙??堋オ窶堙?、窶慊ッナ陳ァツ春窶愿コヒ?、ナスs窶堙姑椎槌嘆ニ竪窶ーテ固スティツ(窶啣窶啖ツ)窶堙ァ窶冕窶啜ツ人窶堙ー窶佚溪?「テ溪?堋オ窶堋スツ。窶覇窶ケ^ナステ停?堙債「窶啾ツ−窶嗄窶喇窶嗄窶喨窶啻窶喩ツ」窶堙??堋「窶堋、ナ竹窶督シ窶堙??督シナ津??ーツョナスs窶堙ー窶吮??ツ心窶堙俄?ーツケナ?yナ?ヒ??慊ョ窶堙ー窶堋オ窶堙??堋ィ窶堙ィツ、窶佚・窶独停?堙ーナスツゥ窶「ツェ窶堙??ケz窶堙≫?堙??堋「窶堋ス窶堙吮?堋ゥツ、窶堙吮?堋ゥ窶堙娯?售ツ人窶堙俄?敕娯?昶?樞?堋オ窶堋ス窶堙ィツ、ツ湘キ窶堙≫?堋ス窶堙ィ窶堋オ窶堙??堋「窶堋ス窶堙??堋「窶堋、ツ。
http://www.zakzak.co.jp/gei/2007_03/g2007030607.html

Aichi, police arresed 5 men including a singer of "B-Ninjah".
Cannabis law is equally applied to Ninja here.
 

dan_j

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BTW, I should add that although conversation english teacher salary is very low, dont think all jobs are. I have friends now working in japan permanently and they do quite well. around 10,000,000 per year + bonus is not uncommon. but again they are not what you'd call 'cruisy' jobs. long hours, lots of stress etc. but I think it's worth it. :)
as for doing what you want if it doesn't impact on other people. i agree, if they wont to do coke etc that's fine, but they need to remember as guests in japan they are subject to japanese law, and now having broken it they will be subject to japanese punishment too. :(

wat are these jobs? still teaching english or other type of work. let me no
... info info info ?
 
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