Safety in Japan

It is of the utmost concern of our company that all Interac ALTs live and work in safety as well as enjoy life in Japan. Interac makes extensive efforts to ensure that all employees have a safe and comfortable life. At the start of your employment, we will provide information on how to be careful of and deal with the challenges and situations you might encounter.

So that you may enjoy living and working in Japan, we recommend that you adopt a positive approach to coping with life in Japan. In other words, take an interest in Japanese culture and tradition. Doing so will help you to get along with people with different cultural backgrounds. Having close Japanese friends might also help you in many cases.

Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, as evidenced by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

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Alcohol and Illegal Drug Usage in Japan

During the initial orientation and training, all new ALTs will be given information on the laws, penalties, and attitudes relating to the use and possession of illegal drugs and alcohol in Japan.

There is no social concept of “hard” or “soft” drugs. Simply being under the influence of a drug is crime, separate from possession, trafficking, etc., and it carries its own penalties. Receiving drugs by any means is a crime. Aside from informers, sting operations, customs control, and stop-and-search, police use controlled delivery to stop trafficking. People who receive packages of drugs are guilty even if they are ignorant of the contents of the shipment. Police will place under surveillance known associates of drug traffickers and users, often by using contact data stored in cell phones. Please protect yourself by making smart choices about your friends and making people, both in Japan and overseas, aware of this situation. If you fall into the hands of the Japanese justice system, there is very little anyone will be able to do to help you.

Law Common Drug Names Penalty
Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Law Cocaine, heroin, opiates, barbiturates, LSD, hallucinogens, inhalants, and related central nervous system agents. 7 – 10 years in prison
¥2 – 3 million fine
Cannabis Control Law Marijuana, hashish, and all derivatives of the cannabis plant. 3 yrs. to life in prison
¥10 million fine
Stimulants Control Law Amphetamine, and 8 categories of related central nervous system stimulants.

The penalties in the above table only relate to the use of a drug, and penalties are heavier when you possess, transfer, receive, import, etc. in violation of these laws. If you break several laws, the penalty will be compounded. Japanese laws are very harsh towards drug-related crimes. Almost all drug cases result in guilty verdicts.

The legal driving limit for alcohol found on one’s breath in Japan is effectively 0.0. DUI/DWI, and this includes riding a bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle. A positive field test by a police officer results in immediate arrest. There is no right to refuse a test. A person who serves alcohol, rides with, or provides a vehicle to someone who goes on to commit a DUI/DWI is also culpable.

 Blood Alcohol Level Crime Monetary Penalty Imprisonment Effect on Driver’s License
.015 mg/ml to 0.25 mg/ml DUI Up to ¥500,000 Up to 3 years in prison Lose license for 1 year
 Over 0.25 mg/ml DWI Up to ¥1,000,000 Up to 5 years in prison Lose license for 3 years
 Negligent Driving Resulting in Death Can be up to 20 years, 30 years in grevious cases, or life sentence  Lose license for 10 years

All Interac ALTs must pledge that, while in Japan, they do not and shall not knowingly possess and/or take drugs that violate Japanese law. Furthermore, they will not possess and/or take synthetic psychoactive substances, generally called “脱法ハーブ” (Dappo Herb) and “脱法ドラッグ (Dappo Drug).