The Japanese government has been cracking down on “forest cheats” since 2012.
The most recent crackdown was launched in June.
But, as you might expect, it has done little to stop the problem.
As the BBC reports, “it is difficult to find a forest in Japan where the population of forest cheater is not present.
Some of the forest areas have been designated as “guest forests” to discourage them from cheating.”
The Japanese Ministry of Environment estimates that there are up to 3,000 cheaters living in forests across the country.
“There are about 1,400 people living in guest forests, according to the ministry,” according to The Times.
The Ministry of Education estimates there are between 2,000 and 4,000 forest cheat victims in Japan.
And the government claims that it has found 2,400 forest cheators.
According to the BBC, “It is difficult for officials to identify cheaters from the rest of the population.”
So, why is the government cracking down?
Part of the problem is that, at least in Japan, cheating is a criminal offence.
That’s why the government is cracking down.
The BBC reports that the government’s response has been to restrict access to the forest.
“They have restricted the number of people allowed into the forest,” says the BBC.
“And they have also banned the use of mobile phones in the forest.”
That’s the first step in cracking down and restricting access to a forest.
But the second step in the crackdown is to restrict the use and access to mobile phones.
The Japanese police are cracking down, too.
In the wake of the BBC report, Japanese police have reportedly been instructed to “stop allowing people into the country to use cellphones in the forests.”
“They [police] are not allowed to give out information about who can use cell phones in certain forest areas,” says The Times, which also notes that the Ministry of Health has been told to “ban the use or possession of cell phones inside forest areas.”
“The Ministry of the Environment has said that the ministry will monitor and control mobile phones, but it has not said what kind of data will be collected,” The Times reports.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government says that “there are no plans to impose any fines against people who cheat.”
And, according the BBC: “It seems like there are no rules to punish the cheaters.
So, there are people who are trying to cheat the system and are trying for the highest possible reward.”
It’s not the first time that the Japanese have cracked down on cheaters, though.
In 2011, a Japanese man named Yosuke Ishikawa was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison for being a “forest cheat.”
In 2011 and 2012, a man named Takayuki Ochiai was arrested for cheating, too, but he was eventually released.
And, in 2013, a British man named George Smith was sentenced to six years in jail for “cheating” in a forest clearing.
In 2015, a U.K. man named Richard Cushing was convicted of cheating in a Forest Service clearing.
And in 2015, an Australian man named Peter Ochs was convicted for cheating in an agricultural clearing.
So why have the Japanese governments so many cheaters?
One possible explanation is that the governments is trying to stop cheaters by making the problem more visible.
As The Times points out, “Japanese police have been known to announce to their members that ‘everyone cheating in the woods is a cheater,'” the BBC reported.
And Japanese television has broadcast a variety of warnings that cheaters are a problem.
And there have been reports of police making arrests for forest cheating.
The latest crackdown has also made it difficult for foreign nationals to cheat in Japan’s forest.
In February, Japanese officials told The Associated Press that they would stop allowing foreigners to enter the country “unless they are also participating in the illegal activities.”
So even if you’re not a cheat, the chances of you cheating are pretty slim.
But Japanese officials say that if you cheat, you’re still a cheetah.
And that, in turn, means that you’re no longer a cheaters at all.
“You should not cheat,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said last month.
“It’s against the law.
The forest is a protected environment.
If you are not going to abide by the law, you are no longer cheaters.”