Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Drink Spiking in Roppongi

As reported in the crime section of our Country Specific Information for Japan, the Embassy continues to receive reports of drink spiking incidents in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, particularly near the Roppongi Crossing area.

We remind U.S. citizens to exercise caution and maintain security awareness in entertainment districts like Roppongi and Shinjuku’s Kabuki-cho, as drink spiking incidents over the years have routinely led to robbery and occasionally resulted in physical and sexual assaults. In most drink-spiking reports, the victim unknowingly drinks a beverage that has been mixed with a drug, rendering the victim unconscious or dazed for several hours, during which time the victim’s credit card is stolen or used for large purchases. Some victims regain consciousness in the bar or club; other victims may awaken on the street or in other unknown locations.

U.S. citizens have also reported being charged exorbitant bar tabs in some bars and clubs in Roppongi, Kabuki-cho, and other entertainment and nightlife districts. Although firearms and brandishing knives in public are illegal in Japan, U.S. citizens have reported being threatened with gun or knife violence in such venues to pay bar tabs or withdraw money. U.S. citizens have also reported being beaten when they have refused to pay or hand over money.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo strongly recommends that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Japan enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Japan. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit of either the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or one of the U.S. Consulates in Japan.