National Public Safety Commission chief Mitsuhiro Uesugi called on his organization’s Chinese counterpart Friday to crack down on the increasing volume of illegal amphetamines being smuggled into Japan from China.

Uesugi, who is also the home affairs minister, told Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto in a Cabinet meeting that Chinese police head Jia Chunwang promised Beijing will cooperate with Tokyo at the working level to further investigate drug-smuggling cases. Uesugi met Jia earlier this week in Beijing.

Besides the drug smuggling issue, the two also discussed recent international crimes, such as firearms smuggling, illegal entry into Japan by sea and money laundering, in which Japanese and Chinese crime syndicates are believed to be involved.

According to the National Police Agency, the illegal manufacturing of methamphetamines in China started in Fijian Province and its surrounding areas around 1990. “Of the 171.9 kg of stimulant drugs confiscated in Japan last year, we believe almost all of it was produced in China, especially in Fijian and Guangdong provinces,” said Kazushi Inoue of the NPA’s Drug Enforcement Division.

In the past five years, Chinese police authorities have busted more than 40 methamphetamine-producing factories in China and confiscated about 2 tons of stimulant drugs, according to the NPA. The drugs produced in China are often hidden in container vessels and smuggled into Japanese ports, the NPA said. In other cases, the drugs are passed on to Japanese mobsters at sea off the coasts of Japan, it said.

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