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Tokyo Vice

Journalist Jake Adelstein's Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan is a remarkable achievement on a number of fronts. Here you've got a guy who comes to Tokyo to study at Sophia University (in the early 90s), lands a job reporting in Japanese for the Yomiuri Shinbun, works round the clock to make connections and eke out information at police branches and on various strata of the underworld, and gets the stories out there in the face of media red tape and threats of reprisal to himself, family and friends.

Having lived in Tokyo for about as many years as Adelstein, I remember quite a few of the cases he covered. His book filled in plenty of blanks, and as disturbing as some of his experiences and possible lapses of judgement were, I have a lot of respect for what he's been able to accomplish. Surprised I haven't run into him over the years in one of Tokyo's seedier warrens, and I look forward to reading more of his work.


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