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An American journalist strikes a chord with his reporting on Japan's criminal underworld.
Having a criminal conspiracy law in Japan akin to the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations [RICO] act would be “disastrous” for the yakuza, he said recently.
“It would put a law on the books that would allow the government to seize their offices, their buildings, their companies, their assets … it would essentially put them out of business.”
The inability of the Japanese police to act with the same vigor as their U.S. counterparts means the yakuza are “so embedded in the financial markets that they threaten the very roots of the Japanese economy,” Adelstein said.
The threat from his nemesis may have dissipated with Goto’s decision last year to enter the Buddhist priesthood, but Adelstein is not quite ready to relax.
He informs the Tokyo police of his movements, and Mochizuki-san is an almost constant companion. “If Goto really isn’t angry with me anymore, then maybe in a few months my life can return to normal,” he said.
He is convinced of one thing, though — that he would never have found peace of mind had he accepted an offer of $50,000 from the top echelons of the Yamaguchi-gumi to keep the scandal quiet.
“They were afraid it would set a bad precedent and make them look like ineffectual managers,” he said.
“I thought about it for about as long as it takes to smoke a clove cigarette. But you don’t want to be owned by these guys. And my honor and dignity are worth at least a million bucks.”