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Stalking cases soared to all-time high in ’13

Kyodo

The number of recorded stalking cases rose to 21,089 in 2013, hitting an all-time high for the second straight year and topping 20,000 for the first time, the National Police Agency said in a report Thursday.

The total included 43 stalking cases involving police questioning or arresting stalkers over sending emails to victims, a new category covered under a revision made last July to the 2000 anti-stalking law. Police also issued warnings to email senders in 143 cases.

Police nationwide have taken a tougher stance on stalkers after a high school girl was killed by a stalker in Mitaka, west Tokyo, in October.

In the November-December period, the number of stalkers arrested increased 20.6 percent compared with a year earlier.

By gender, the number of female stalking victims reached 19,053, or 90.3 percent. The largest number of victims were in their 20s, at 34.8 percent, followed by those in their 30s at 27.5 percent, those in their 40s at 18.2 percent and teens at 9.4 percent.

Partners and friends accounted for some 60 percent of the stalkers. The police arrested or questioned stalkers in 1,889 cases, up 6.5 percent from a year earlier.

Stalkers were arrested or questioned on suspicion of violating the anti-stalking law, blackmailing and home invasion.

The police issued warnings to suspects in 2,452 cases, up 7.4 percent from a year earlier, and issued orders to stop stalking in 103 cases, both all-time highs.

Meanwhile, the police dealt with an all-time high of 49,533 domestic violence cases last year, up 12.7 percent from a year earlier, setting a record for the 10th straight year, the NPA said.

Stimulant busts escalate

JIJI

The amount of stimulants seized in 2013 soared 2.4-fold to hit the third highest level since records began being kept in 1956, police said Thursday.

The amount came to some 832 kg, exceeding 500 kg for the first time in 13 years, the National Police Agency said.

The amount of stimulants seized from couriers increased by 70 kg to 292 kg, a record high since records began in 2005.

The number of seizures from stimulant couriers rose by 15 to 96. Of them, India was the largest source with 16 cases, up sharply from three the previous year.

According to the NPA, the average domestic street price of stimulants was ¥70,000 per gram in 2013, down ¥20,000 from 2009 but still more than seven times higher than the average price in China.

“Japan is a lucrative target for stimulant smugglers because of the high street prices,” the agency said.

The NPA said police brought charges in 2013 against 176 people in a total of 125 cases related to quasi-legal drugs that have stimulant effects. The number of people and cases was up 64 and 49, respectively, from the previous year.