|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Shukan Hoseki 8/10 By Mark Schreiber
"I've been using a straw to snort heroin. It's easy really to got in Beijing..
The price is about 300 yuan (3,000 yen) for 100 grams."
So says a 23-year-old Japanese exchange student at the Beijing Language Institute.
His campus is located 12 kilometers out of the city and there is little shopping to be had nearby.
Recreation for students is limited to getting drunk, playing computer games, sex or shooting drugs, the latter of which can supposedly be obtained in a village to the west of Beijing largely populated by minority tribes, such as Uigurs.
The student tells Shukan Hoseki at least half of his Japanese classmates are also indulging in the drug..
It sounds impossible to believe, but there are plenty of facts to support these claims.
On Feb.19, a 21-year old Japanese coed from Osaka went into shock from the effects of drugs and was taken by ambulance to the Sino-Japan Friendship Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The autopsy determined her windpipe had gone into convulsions that caused internal bleeding.
The incident was hushed up, and the media reported it as a death from illness.
A male student at the school tells Hoseki,
"On the night she died, I was one of two one's who broke into her room after I heard she was acting strangely.
She was lying unconscious and wasn't moving.
"A few days later, her father came from Japan.
I heard that when thefather reprimanded the African coed student his daughter had been rooming with, she broke down in tears".
A month later, two Japanese coeds and one male student at the same institute were arrested for permission of drugs and deported.
A stuff member at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing says police made the arrest while the girls were pressured by aggressive Uigur merchants at the market place.
The girls said the Uigurs tried to force the drugs on them.
Their fathers flew to Beijing to protest their subsequent expulsion, but the school stood by its decision.
China is in the throes of a serious drug epidemic, notes Hoseki.
In Yunnan Province, bordering on the notorious "Golden triangle", 466 drug dealers were executed during 1994, and 2.8 tons of drugs seized.
The problem has also spread to other provinces, including Guangdong and Fujian.
Although seemingly aware of the draconian punishments that may await drug violators in China, many Japanese students find the easy availability and price of the drugs, which go for as low as one-fourth the price of those sold in Japan, to be irresistible.
According to Yoshiro Hata, author of a guidebook for students in China, there were about 11,000 Japanese studying in China as of 1994.
As China's economy liberalizes, the country find tuition paid by foreign students a good source of hard currency.
The mass media reports of the "rush" by Japanese companies to invest in China has also mesmerized young Japanese into visualizing opportunities for future careers.
The majority of these students, however, find their ability in the Chinese language to be insufficient to advance to full-fledged university-level studies.
Often, they have problems in communication and turn to recreational drugs out of loneliness and boredom.
As if their drug problems weren't enough, reports have also surfaced that Japanese students are being deported from China at the rate of two or three per year after testing positive for HIV.
Shukan Hoseki soberly concludes that while fellow Japanese might be willing to tolerate the students' misbehavior as "the indulgence of youth," it's more than likely that people in the host countries are being served up reminders that, half a century after the end of the war, there are still plenty of Japanese who engage in brutish and barbaric behavior when away from home.(M.S)