Japan is renowned for taking a tough stance on illicit substances, but when it comes to legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, it tends to turn a blind eye. People associate drug abuse with the criminal underworld, while alcohol is glorified for being an integral part of Japanese culture.

Indeed, the country’s liberal attitude toward drinking means that alcohol can be found almost anywhere at any time of day. It is not uncommon to see salarymen passed out on benches, women swaying from side to side on their walk home or piles of vomit (jokingly called “platform pizza”) at train stations.

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