2channel, Japans Largest Website, used by Illegal Drug Trafficking Ring

Drugs, and drug culture, are common and prevalent in much of the West. Ditto for Japan, even if superficially the country seems immune to such devices. Its not.

Sometimes buying drugs in Japan is as easy as walking up to someone standing on a corner in Tokyos Roppongi. Sometimes, its far more complex, say, if you are in some small town or a boring suburb. Enter the internet.

Twenty-year-old Ryuji Ota and 9 other accomplices set up a drug trafficking ring on 2channel, the countrys largest bulletin board. Westerners are perhaps familiar with 4chan, which was inspired by Japans Futaba Channel 2chan.net, which was created during looming threats of a 2channel shutdown.

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Remains of missing Kanazawa housewife found buried in the sand

The remains of missing Kanazawa housewife Haruna Fukuda, 27, were discovered buried in the sand at a beach in Onebu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Thursday. Around 50 police officers had been searching beaches for her belongings since Feb 17.

Fukuda had been missing since she left home in her car on Feb 6 after telling her parents that she was going to collect some money that was owed to her by a male acquaintance. After she failed to return home, she was reported missing. On Feb 21, it was reported that Ishikawa prefectural police had confiscated the car of a 35-year-old freelance cameraman, who was commissioned to work for public broadcaster NHK, on suspicion that he had been involved in the woman’s disappearance.

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The case of the disappearing condoms

Malaysian police said Tuesday they were investigating the disappearance of more than 700,000 ultrathin condoms which went missing in transit between Malaysia and Japan.Sagami Rubber Industries, Japans first condom maker, said last week that the shipment was loaded into a container at its factory in northern Malaysia, but that it was empty with the locks replaced when it arrived in Tokyo."We take the matter of the missing condoms very seriously… we are investigating the matter," a Malaysian police spokesman told AFP.Sato Koji, manager of the Sagami rubber factory in Malaysias Perak state, said they had lodged a police report over the loss of the shipment.

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No. 2 man at Japan’s largest crime syndicate arrested in Kyoto

A gangster ranked second-in-command to the imprisoned boss of Japan’s largest crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, was arrested Thursday for allegedly extorting some 40 million yen from a man in Kyoto from the end of 2005 to 2006, Kyoto prefectural police said.

The arrest of Kiyoshi Takayama, a 63-year-old resident of Kobe, came amid an enhanced clampdown by Japanese police forces against the Kodokai gang, a dominant force in the Yamaguchi-gumi led by Takayama, before the release next spring of syndicate boss Kenichi Shinoda.

Takayama ranks next to Shinoda, known in the underworld as Shinobu, who became the sixth boss of the Yamaguchi-gumi in July 2005 and was jailed in December that year in Osaka for violating the gun control law. Shinoda hails from the Nagoya-based Kodokai.

Read the rest of the story: No. 2 man at Japan’s largest crime syndicate arrested in Kyoto.