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Ceremony held for 7 drug-sniffing dogs at Tokyo Customs after 4-month training course

Drug-sniffing dogs who have completed training are seen lined up for a commemorative photo in the city of Narita, Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo on Dec. 10, 2020. (Mainichi/Tadakazu Nakamura)

NARITA -- Seven canines newly certified as drug-sniffing dogs recently took part in a graduation ceremony at a Tokyo Customs training center in this city east of the capital.

    At the ceremony following the completion of the drug detection dogs' training, which was held in the Chiba Prefecture city of Narita, Michihito Kojima, deputy head of the Tokyo Customs' surveillance department, stated, "I have faith that all of you who made it through the four months of training will do well. I expect great accomplishments from you." Staff in charge of training put "K-9" badges onto the uniform collars of seven Customs employees who were paired with the drug-sniffing dogs as their handlers. The seven handlers gave speeches, with comments such as "I myself was able to grow alongside the drug-sniffing dog," and, "I will make the utmost effort to detect illegal substances with my partner dog."

    Five Labrador Retrievers and two German Shepherds, who passed a certification exam with a pass rate of 30 to 40%, were lined up to take a commemorative photo. Handlers and the drug-sniffing dogs will work on the front lines to tackle smuggling of illegal drugs at nationwide airports, ports, and international post offices from mid-December. Tomoya Miura, 22, who was appointed to Osaka Customs commented, "I'd like to be able to have my dog conduct inspections while having a good time."

    (Japanese original by Tadakazu Nakamura, Narita Bureau)

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