|Born||Joshua Lawrence Adelstein|
March 28, 1969
Columbia, Missouri, U.S.
|Occupation||Investigative journalist, writer, editor, blogger|
|Genre||True crime, non-fiction, journalism|
|Notable works||Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan|
Joshua Lawrence “Jake” Adelstein (born March 28, 1969) is an American journalist, crime writer, and blogger who has spent most of his career in Japan. He is the author of Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, which inspired HBO Max's 2022 television series of the same name, starring Ansel Elgort as Adelstein.
Adelstein grew up in Columbia, Missouri and graduated from Rock Bridge High School. As a teenager he volunteered at KOPN and co-hosted a punk music program on the air. He moved to Japan at age 19 to study Japanese literature at Sophia University. In 1993, Adelstein became the first non-Japanese staff writer at the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, where he worked for 12 years.
After leaving the Yomiuri, Adelstein published an exposé of how an alleged crime boss, Tadamasa Goto, made a deal with the FBI to gain entry to the United States for a liver transplant at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2009, Adelstein published a memoir about his career as a reporter in Japan, Tokyo Vice, in which he accused Goto of threatening to kill him over the story. There have been many doubts about the veracity of the tales described in the memoir.
Adelstein was subsequently a reporter for a United States Department of State investigation into human trafficking in Japan, and now writes for the Daily Beast, Vice News, The Japan Times and other publications. He is a board member and advisor to the Lighthouse: Center for Human Trafficking Victims (formerly Polaris Project Japan).
On April 19, 2011, Adelstein filed a lawsuit against National Geographic Television, which had hired him to help make a documentary about the yakuza, citing ethical problems with their behavior in Japan. However, the court dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning the plaintiff is barred from bringing that claim in another court.
- Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan. New York City: Pantheon Books. 2009. ISBN 978-0-307-37879-8. OCLC 699874898.
- The Last Yakuza: A Life in the Japanese Underworld. New York City: Pantheon Books. 2016.
- Pay the Devil in Bitcoin: The Creation of a Cryptocurrency and How Half a Billion Dollars of It Vanished from Japan. New York City: Pantheon Books. 2017.
- Jake Adelstein, "Yakuza, strippers, drugs, an undercover Japanese-Jew FBI special agent? Pulp non-fiction.", Twitter, June 26, 2015. Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- https://www.columbiatribune.com/story/news/politics/government/2009/11/01/gaijin-journalist-american-reporter-covered/21550565007/ Gaijin Journalist American Reporter Covered
- Hessler, Peter. "All Due Respect" Profile, The New Yorker, January 9, 2012.
- Mark Willacy, "Exposing Japan's Insidious Underbelly", ABC News, October 20, 2009; accessed November 20, 2010.
- Jake Adelstein, "This Mob Is Big in Japan", The Washington Post, May 11, 2008, Accessed November 20, 2010
- THR Magazine, "Insiders Call B.S. on ‘Tokyo Vice’ Backstory", The Hollywood Reporter, April 29, 2022; accessed May 2, 2022.
- Eriq Gardner (May 10, 2011). "NatGeo Delays Japanese Mafia Show at Center of Lawsuit (Updated)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
- "Superior Court of the District of Columbia. April 19, 2011" (PDF).
- "Superior Court of the District of Columbia. May 4, 2011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 28, 2014.
- Hessler, Peter (9 January 2012). "All Due Respect". The New Yorker, Volume LXXXVII, No. 43, pp. 50–59.
- Book Break: Robert Whiting and Jake Adelstein - “Beyond Tokyo’s Vices And The Underworld”, 16 March 2022, Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan