A new interview with Jake Adelstein is up on World Policy Institute focusing on the recent yakuza crackdown, but also touching on some interesting recent topics like their popularity in pop culture, and current political ties.
What had prevented the government from cracking down on yakuza before?
Japan doesn’t have a RICO act. It has limited wire-tapping. There is no plea-bargaining allowed. There is no witness protection or witness relocation program. There is no incentive for a low-ranking yakuza to rat out the people above him and a hundred reasons for him to keep his mouth shut. For these reasons, most investigations often peter out before really getting off the ground. The branches get clipped, the roots remain untouched.
Jake was also interviewed by Devin Stewart (who added a nice authentic flair to the pronunciation of ‘Adelstein’) of the Carnegie Council. The 44-minute marathon covers all sorts of intricate details about the job, the beat and the yaks, as well as juicy retrospective thoughts about the experiences documented in Tokyo Vice. It’s a little long, but give it a listen! I might start calling Jake the “Yakuza Whisperer”…
And the last bit of news: Jake is about to head off to the land down under to promote Tokyo Vice, and on his travels will be appearing at the Brisbane Writer Festival on September 3 for a somehow appropriately titled talk, “Seed, Sex and Dirty Deeds with Jake Adelstein“. He’s apparently appearing in two other events, but neither sound nearly as titillating. Upcoming details on the rest of his Southern Hemisphere tour will be posted as they come in.