Yakuza among 5 suspects in record seizure of stimulant drugs in Ibaraki


On August 22, police accused Atsushi Imaizumi, a 48-year-old member of the Sumiyoshi-kai, and Masami Hosokawa, 60, of possessing 1 kilogram of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, for the purpose of trafficking in Hitachinaka City. At the same location, police found 480 kilograms of the same drug, with street value of 30.7 billion yen, inside a truck.

According to investigative sources, it is believed that an international trafficking group was behind the smuggling. A Chinese and Dutch national are among the other suspects in the case. Police suspect the contraband was landed at Hitachinaka via boats operating off the coast.

Largest seizure this year

For stimulant drugs, the seizure represents the largest nationwide this year, and the fourth-biggest on record. The largest confiscation took place in May, 2016, when Okinawa Prefectural Police seized some 597 kilograms of stimulant drugs from a yacht berthed at Naha Port.

Last year, law enforcement in Japan seized near 1,500 kilograms of stimulant drugs, the most since such data began being kept in 2002.

Police divisions from Tokyo and Ibaraki Prefecture on Wednesday announced the arrest of five persons, including an organized crime member, and seizure of more than 30 billion yen in stimulant drugs in the bust of a suspected trafficking ring. The seizure is the largest confiscation nationwide this year, police said, reports Jiji Press (tokyoreporter.com)

Ammunition and a hand grenade were found in garbage brought into a waste-processing facility on the island of Amami Oshima last week, reports TV Asahi (tokyoreporter.com)

A Kyoto University research team said that it has confirmed the safety and function of cells produced from human induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells that were transplanted to monkeys exhibiting a model of Parkinson’s disease. (Jiji)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his British counterpart Theresa May held unofficial talks in Kyoto on Wednesday. She arrived in Japan earlier in the day. May is visiting the country for the first time as prime minister. (NHK)

Investigative sources with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police revealed on Wednesday that security camera footage shows a man suspected in the murder of his 26-year-old former girlfriend carrying a suitcase, possibly containing her body, out of the residence they shared, reports Nippon News Network (tokyoreporter.com)

New “shachihoko” ornaments for the towers of Kumamoto Castle in the southwestern Japan city of Kumamoto went on display Wednesday at a tourist facility near the castle, which was heavily damaged by powerful earthquakes in April last year. (Jiji)

The parents of a 27-year-old former part-time city worker who committed suicide in 2015 filed a lawsuit Tuesday demanding ¥13 million in compensation from the Kitakyushu Municipal Government, claiming their daughter was overworked and harassed by a supervisor. (Japan Times)

A Japanese probe orbiting Venus has observed especially strong winds over the planet’s equator. (NHK)

Struggling Japanese electronics maker Toshiba has received a new offer on the sale of its flash memory unit. (NHK)

Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso has retracted a controversial remark that could be seen as defending Adolf Hitler. (NHK)


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