Jake Adelstein’s Tokyo Vice

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    Tokyo Vice

    Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, a tell-all book by former Yomuiri Shimbun crime reporter Jake Adelstein, is finally out in stores. Reuters has an article up about him:

    A 12-year stint covering crime for Japan’s biggest daily newspaper, the Yomiuri Shimbun, brought Adelstein into contact with the seamy side of Tokyo that most Westerners never see, from loan sharking to murders to trafficking in sex workers.

    His mission to pull off a scoop about the yakuza turned personal after the disappearance of a prostitute friend who had been trying to help him find out about what he suspected was a human trafficking ring.

    Adelstein, who wrote in Japanese, left the newspaper in 2005. In his English-language memoir, “Tokyo Vice,” which will be published in the United States this week, he tells the story of how he got to grips with the unique Japanese way of journalism, becoming such a serious irritant to the yakuza that he faced death threats and was placed under police protection in 2008.

    Not being an expert on organized crime in Japan, I cannot speak for the accuracy of what he is writing, but I am always suspicious of authors who hype up their tell-all books by advertising the fact that gangsters are supposedly trying to kill them for knowing too much. That being said, however, I downloaded the Kindle edition of his book yesterday, and what I’ve read so far is pretty interesting and not too outlandish or paranoid. Unlike other authors of English language books about the dark side of Japan, Adelstein at least has a resume that gives him some authority to speak about organized crime.

    For more information on Adelstein and his book, check out the following links

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