TOKYO VICE: Reading & Discussion with Author Jake Adelstein
At nineteen, Jake Adelstein went to Japan in search of peace and tranquility. What he got was a life of crime'crime reporting, that is, at the prestigious Yomiuri Shinbun. For 12 years of 80-hour work weeks, he covered the seedy side of Japan that few Japanese even see, where extortion, murder, human trafficking, and corruption are as familiar as ramen noodles and sake. But when his final scoop brought him face to face with Japan's most infamous yakuza boss'and the threat of death for him and his family'Adelstein decided to step down'for a time. Then, he fought back. In Tokyo Vice, Adelstein tells a riveting, often humorous tale of his journey from an inexperienced cub reporter'who made rookie mistakes like getting in a martial-arts battle with a senior editor'to a daring, investigative journalist with a price on his head. Adelstein was a reporter for the Yomiuri Shinbun, Japan's largest newspaper, from 1993 to 2005. From 2006 to 2007 he was the chief investigator for a US State Department-sponsored study of human trafficking in Japan. Considered one of the foremost experts on organized crime in Japan, he now works as a writer and consultant in Japan and the US. He is also public relations director for Polaris Project Japan, which combats human trafficking and the exploitation of women and children in the sex trade.