March 23, 2023

Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan Author: Jake Adelstein Vintage Books Trade Paperback October 5, 2010, $15.95

Jake Adelstein’s career is like a video game. As the only American journalist to ever be admitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police press club, he’s spent the last twelve years covering the dark side of Japan: extortion, murder, human trafficking, fiscal corruption, and of course, the yakuza. But the yakuza is more complex than the thug mafia gangs portrayed in American movies. They are, as Adelstein once explained to The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, more like the boy scouts, with different sects and rankings under a system of regulatory laws.

After years of covering the yakaza, Adelstein stumbled upon a scoop that exposed a scandal tracing all the way back to the FBI. If he wrote this story for the newspaper, a yakuza boss made it clear that he and his family would be erased. Adelstein stepped down from the paper, but fought back with TOKYO VICE, a riveting, often humorous tale of Adelstein’s journey from an inexperienced cub reporter to a daring, investigative journalist with a price on his head. Its vivid, visceral descriptions of crime in Japan and exploration of the world -of modem-day yakuza offer insights that even few-Japanese ever see.

Jake Adelstein is an American born journalist who now lives in Japan as a crime reporter for the Yomiuri Shinbun (newspaper). He is also the public relations director for the Polaris Project, a non governmental organization that works to combat human trafficking.

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