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Regarding the story “Aska released on evidence claim” in the Dec. 21 edition, Japan’s entire notion of drug use has been completely off the scale for too long.

Looking at the headlines is a clear sign that Japan is behind the rest of the international community. While the United States and Europe are open to testing Ecstasy for its medical properties, Japan won’t even consider the medicinal uses. I find this alarming to say the least. This shows how Japan is more conservative than most of the West and closed off from outward thinking.

I think news agencies have a responsibility to tell the public exactly what Aska is using and what the exact effects are. Simply reporting that Aska has been using stimulants or is thought to be using does not cut it.

I would like to call on the Japanese media to tell the public exactly what alleged drug users are supposedly using. This would lead to a broader understanding of what drugs are common in Japan. We have a right to know what exactly people are being arrested for and how those illicit substances affect the body.

Regardless of what public figures are arrested for, the media needs to be more clear about illicit drugs and start a conversation of the reasons of why certain drugs are not available to the general public. Most people in Japan have no idea of what effects drugs have and believe they are bad simply because they are illegal. This should not be the standard of an informed citizen. I demand more from the media.

CHRISTOPHER GULBRAA
EDOGAWA WARD, TOKYO

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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