Gangland Tokyo, the National Geographic special referred to in my post last week.

You can watch it on YouTube.

This was the documentary / docudrama that was being referred to in the Joshua “Jake” Adelstein lawsuit. (See earlier post.) What surprises me is that numerous sources within Japan spoke openly, for attribution, about the Japanese crime syndicate.

As you may know, after 9/11, the United States government approached Japan about whether or not the Yakuza was a terrorist group with international reach. I emphasize that, because this excluded groups that were terrorists within a country, but not necessarily those who targeted Americans in a foreign country.

The yakuza were never put on a State department or Defense department list.

But some of the incidents that Mr. Adelstein says has happened, and the need for police protection, suggest that someone at the State or Defense department would have already made an issue of these threats. Particularly, this talk about the $500,000. To me, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

This is not to say that there is no foundation for a book like Tokyo Vice. Obviously, here is Gangland Tokyo. There are petty crime syndicates all around, even New Jersey. New Jersey’s ones, themselves, have always been said to be a subsidiary of New York City mob activity. I simply wonder whether knowing the name of a mob boss, or even getting one to speak to you on the camera, makes you “in”.

Yes, it’s something. But like that long line of big successful gaijins who most of us who comment on the internet have heard about, when the simple questions start getting asked, there just seems to be a lot of defensiveness.