• Jiji


The Finance Ministry has started to use YouTube for a campaign aimed at preventing the smuggling of stimulants and gold.

Two employees at the ministry’s Customs and Tariff Bureau, which oversees customs stations throughout Japan, have created and posted to YouTube videos about smuggling and other related content.

The ministry hopes the videos will eventually lead to the detection of smuggling cases by heightening public awareness about the crime and encouraging more people to report suspicious cases.

The two employees, who have no experience in video production, have worked without the use of expensive editing software.

Some videos took two months to create as they are engaged in content production while doing their daily work.

“I’m racking my brain over how to attract the attention of viewers,” one of the creators said, adding that she is studying other YouTube videos.

The videos are on the bureau’s channel on YouTube.

One video covers a case in which around 1 ton of a stimulant drug was seized at once in June 2019 on the shores of Minamiizu, Shizuoka Prefecture. The seized amount was comparable to a normal year’s total of stimulants confiscated by authorities in Japan.

Using animation, the video went into detail about the whole affair, starting with how a fisherman discovered a foreign national he thought to suspicious at a port and ending with Japanese customs authorities detecting the smuggling.

Another video features a smuggling method in which gold bars are wrapped around a person’s body and then covered up with special effects makeup using silicone gel designed to look like skin.

The amount of illegal drugs seized by Japanese customs authorities in 2019 surged more than twofold from the previous year to exceed 3 tons for the first time ever.

In response, the ministry has been beefing up its border control and plans to continue uploading new videos.

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