Japan and the
The postwar American perception of Japan's conversion from adversary to ally in the war on drugs largely reflects the legacy of occupation. Persuaded by U.S. officials determined to prevent Japan from reentering the illicit drug trade and eager to establish the country as a "long-term model for antiopium programs in Asia," the Office of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) introduced "American-style narcotics control" in occupied Japan. 1 Not only was Japan's drug legislation redrafted along American lines but domestic production and trade in narcotics were severely curtailed. Following the occupation, Japanese policy makers continued to follow the political lead of the United States in international drug control efforts through the United Nations and cooperated in dealing with instances of trafficking by U.S. servicemen stationed in Japan. These actions contributed to the sense that Japan had become an ally in the American war on drugs.
The emergence of Asian, Southeast Asian, and Latin American source countries in the international drug trade shifted U.S. attention away from Japan. During the 1970s, the United States was preoccupied with the heroin trade through the Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle. Japan was important largely because of its geographical proximity to the Asian mainland and the potential, albeit seen as limited, for transshipment through Japan into the American market. By