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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — More drugs flow into Japan via Fukuoka and Tokyo harbors than any other ports, said Jim Fall, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent in Sasebo.

“The biggest threat in the Navy as far as drug abuse is concerned is leaving the users unchecked,” said Fall, who spoke to base leaders about area drug use at the Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Branch Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday. “Drug use is a social activity and they don’t want to just use them alone … it’s like a cancer; it will expand.”

Fall said agents investigate drug use by pulling information from individuals who’ve tested positive. “We get all of our information from sailors who have popped positive and other sources,” he said. “We know drugs are in the Sasebo area.

“They (sailors) visit foreign ports and mail them to Japanese addresses, bypassing the military postal system,” he said.

Many Sasebo sailors travel to Fukuoka for nightlife. “In any nightclub in Fukuoka, they will have a drug presence. Some of the more familiar drugs there are ketamine (a veterinary tranquilizer), methamphetamine and Ecstasy,” Fall said. Japanese authorities do not consider ketamine and herbal Ecstasy illegal drugs.

Heroin and cocaine are scarce and extraordinarily expensive, he said; cocaine is $1,000 per gram.

Fall said the most common drug in Sasebo is marijuana but he predicts heroin use will increase and the price will drop because of Japan’s proximity to Afghanistan, a major grower of opium poppies.


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