November 27, 2009

Tokyo Vice


An interview on Fresh Air with Jake Adelstein, author of Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan.

I'm reminded of the old joke that Japanese law enforcement condones organized crime because it so dislikes disorganized crime. Adelstein says it's no joke. While it's tempting to praise Japan's overt lack of litigiousness, human nature is what it is. And the yakuza, going semi-legit, have stepped in to supply those missing tort services, though with brass knuckles instead of lawsuits.

This may explain why vigilante justice plots remain so popular in Japanese entertainment.

Jake Adelstein broke the story (covered on 60 Minutes) about how yakuza oyabun Tadamasa Goto and three mob flunkies conned the FBI and bribed the UCLA Medical Center to provide them liver transplants.

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