Japan has a notoriously strange relationship with drugs. The country’s zero-tolerance policy towards illicit narcotics, which stems from a post-WWII drug abuse and addiction problem, leads to an overreaction every time a national celebrity is caught with drug possession. Currently the country is struggling with rising cannabis use in Japanese youth who want to be “like foreign musicians,” and a recent advertisement showcases just how tone-deaf Japan can be when dealing with drug problems, despite being world leaders in various other categories. Now Japan says if you’re addicted to drugs, eat Udon instead.
As first reported by SoraNews24, a recent print advertisement teaches kids how to say no to drugs by just eating the famed noodles. Now, udon is wildly delicious, but maybe offering thick noodles isn’t the best solution to stop would-be addicts.
Here’s what the Japanese text reads in translation:
How to Say No to Drugs
Use our SUTEKI (wonderful) method to say no:
Slurp udon instead of slurping drugs
Use caution when picking what you consume, like choosing good tempura
Take some udon instead of taking drugs
Eat the udon happily
Kindly go home after you’re done eating
Instead of another white powder, have some wheat flour
You can either get worked up about something like this or laugh at how comical it is. Personally, my strongest reaction is that “Instead of another white powder, have some wheat flour” would be a fire rap line. Clearly none of this would help anyone struggling with addiction whatsoever.
Two important caveats to mention: One, the poster is from Kagawa Prefecture, which is famous for its udon noodles and two, the ad is the result of a competition to create an acronym through “SUTEKI,” as one Twitter user pointed out. That doesn’t excuse the officials who thought it was a good idea, but it does explain some things.l
— クロシェット (@clochette0707) March 9, 2019
So don’t believe it when Japan says if you’re addicted to drugs, eat Udon instead. While delicious, it is not helpful.