Tatsunori Iwamura, a professor at Matsuyama University in Ehime prefecture, faces up to 10 years in prison for showing his pharmaceutical students to make MDMA – commonly known as ecstasy – as well as “designer drug” 5f-QUPIC, the Kyodo News Agency reported.
Sources told the news agency that Iwamura allegedly instructed his students to make ecstasy in 2013, despite not being licensed to produce the drug for academic purposes.
Japan requires researchers to obtain a license from regional authorities to manufacture illegal drugs for academic purposes. Kyodo reported that Iwamura’s government-issued license had expired.
Eleven of Iwamura’s former students were suspected of being involved in producing the illegal drugs, the university told Kyodo news. Four of those students, plus an assistant professor, are under investigation by prosecutors.
The drugs they produced have not been found, but traces of other drugs were discovered in the laboratory used by Iwamura and his students.
"We sincerely apologize for causing major concern to students and their parents," said Tatsuya Mizogami, president of the university, in a statement.
He added that the university will take disciplinary action against Iwamura and the assistant professor, who has not been identified.
Iwamura has been conducting research on what are called dangerous drugs in Japan, sources told the Kyodo news agency.
Walter White is the main character in the critically acclaimed TV show "Breaking Bad." White, a mild-mannered chemistry teacher played by Bryan Cranston, turns to a life of drug manufacturing and dealing in a desperate bid to earn money after learning he has terminal cancer.