The National Police Agency will air a U.N. antidrug advertisement featuring soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata on big-screen street TVs in major cities, NPA officials said.

The 30-second video was taped in London by the U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime in an annual project to produce an antidrug TV commercial featuring a well-known athlete.

Nakata was picked because Japan hosted the just-concluded World Cup together with South Korea, and he agreed to take part in the project for free.

In the video, Nakata, a two-time Asian Player of the Year who plays for Italian Serie A club Parma, exhorts people in English to stop using drugs if they want to achieve their dreams.

It takes “determination and desire” to win in sports, but drugs will take away your opportunities, Nakata says in the ad. “To be the best, don’t play with drugs.”

The NPA will call on prefectural police to make use of the video in their efforts to counter Japan’s rapidly growing drug problem.

The nonprofit Drug Abuse Prevention Center, which helped subtitle the ad in Japanese, will campaign against drug abuse in partnership with the NPA.

The ad has already been aired on TV, mainly in Europe and the United States, according to an official of the center.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.