“Japan has an incredible tolerance for the sexual exploitation of young girls,” Jake Adelstein told Simon Ostrovsky in a Vice.com video about Japan.
In his book “Tokyo Vice”, Jake Adelstein portrays himself as a sex fiend sleeping with colleagues, strippers and even girlfriends of gangsters. On Twitter, he brags about hanging out with porn stars and employing a coterie of sexxy young women in their teens or early twenties. It’s a lifestyle almost impossible in the United States, where his Japanese wife raises their children in the compound of Adelstein’s parents in Missouri, according to a New Yorker article by Adelstein’s schoolmate Peter Hessler. His lifestyle would likely draw attention in Canada where popular CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi faces life in prison for his alleged sexual activities. In Japan, Adelstein brags about his lifestyle.
Yet Adelstein also portrays himself as a champion of women’s rights and a defender of women, including journalists, models, sex trade workers, and young Japanese women working in so-called “maid cafes”. Adelstein, in his late 40s, has hired several young female Tokyo models as writers and editors of his website, and though they have no previous journalism training or experience, he gives them shared bylines in stories in major media organizations such as the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast, the Atlantic, VICE.com and the Japan Times. It’s not clear if he pays them.
Their articles on Adelstein’s Japan Subculture site usually target alleged “felons”, none of them convicted in court. Without presenting verifiable evidence, they block their targets on Twitter and other social media and then publicly accuse them of being pedophiles, rapists, stalkers and even murderers.
Adelstein and his assistants led a campaign to prompt Japan immigration officials to bar so-called “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc from entering Japan. (The man, who appeared on CNN, hasn’t been convicted in the US or Japan). They’ve accused a number of Japanese men of corrupting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. They often accuse foreign and Japanese men, such as powerful talent agents, of allegedly “harassing” or “stalking” women such as Miss International Ikumi Yoshimatsu, who later retracted her claims.
Yet they also defend French expat Mark Karpeles, detained by Tokyo police in connection with the MtGox Bitcoin case, one of the largest online heists in history. Adelstein and his assistants claim they were taking care of Karpeles’ cats, and they say that Karpeles is an innocent victim of hackers. They also defended an American female executive of a Japanese automaker who was jailed in Japan on charges of drug smuggling.
Adelstein’s relations with women are a matter of public interest because Adelstein, more than any other foreign writer in Japan, champions their interests and shapes the way foreigners perceive sex politics in Japan. When Vice.com journalist Simon Ostrovsky, known for his coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, worked on the video “School Girls for Sale in Japan,” he interviewed Adelstein, not any other foreign expert in Japan. (https://news.vice.com/video/schoolgirls-for-sale-in-japan). Vice.com also posted a story by Adelstein and his assistant Angela Erika Kubo, a student who Adelstein employed while she was working at the Pink Cow bar in Roppongi.
It’s also not clear if Vice.com did fact-checking on Adelstein’s story. Commenters have questioned dubious facts and unproven claims and accused Adelstein of slander and fabricating quotes and unnamed sources, including his unproven accusations that a male nurse killed 42 patients at a Missouri hospital where his father is a pathologist. National Geographic TV crew members and others have questioned the veracity of Adelstein’s claims and his lack of verifiable evidence in stories for the Daily Beast, Atlantic Wire, Japan Times and others.
Adelstein says his stories are true, and he says he uses unnamed sources to protect them from retributions. Adelstein often accuses his critics of being “sexists”, “rapists”, “child molesters” and “paedophiles”.
Many have also questioned the ethics of Vice.com showing the faces of schoolgirls working in Akihabara, an entertainment district of Tokyo. Japanese TV often garbles faces or voices to protect vulnerable Japanese from shame and retribution. The Vice.com video garbles some faces but also clearly identifies a few girls on the street and a girl interviewed in a sort of shop where a man appears to be soliciting another girl. A Vice.com producer said the girl was 18 and consented to be interviewed for a video which could be seen in Japan. It’s not clear if pimps, gangsters or police will take action against the girls shown in the Vice.com video.
The video shows no interviews with police amid a crackdown on the underage sex trade, as per reports in Japanese media and Tokyo Reporter. It also focuses on older men seeking contact with girl bands popular in Japan.
Adelstein claims he is an “investigative reporter” and a “board member” of a Japan-based NGO called Light House. A Tokyo resident since the early 1990s, Adelstein often portrays himself as a sex maniac delving deep into Japan’s sex industry, one of the world’s largest.
When approached for comments on previous stories, Adelstein has responded with threats and a smear campaign including false accusations of rape, stalking and child molestation.
Adelstein last year led a vigilante campaign against Julien Blanc, an American who had planned to hold a seminar in Japan about how men should pick up women. Adelstein claimed he took a petition to immigration officials in Tokyo’s Shinagawa ward to bar Blanc’s entry into Japan. Adelstein’s site, and the Japan Times, posted a number of comments threatening to murder or mutilate Blanc. (see screenshots after this text story)
Instead of hiring veteran Japanese investigative reporters, Adelstein has employed — as his personal assistants — a number of teenagers and women in their twenties who lack previous journalism experience or training.
It’s not clear if or how Adelstein pays his young female assistants.
Emails indicated that Adelstein in 2011 offered Nathalie Stucky (who also goes by the name Kyoko Miura) guaranteed work for six months at a salary of 350,000 per month plus expenses, an attractive sum for a Swiss-Japanese woman with no prior reporter experience or training.
Adelstein claims he started his Japan Subculture website along with Michiel “Mimi” Brandt, who died of leukemia July 9, 2012.
Adelstein says he met her in 2004 when he was a veteran reporter for Yomiuri Shimbun in his late thirties and she was a Waseda University student. He says he first found out she had leukemia after she became ill during their dance outing in Tokyo’s Roppongi entertainment district.
“I thought she had drunk too much and was a little worried but made sure she got in a taxi home. And then I couldn’t reach her for days. Finally, I got ahold of her father and he told me what had happened. Leukemia.”
Adelstein has also been working closely with Angela Erika Kubo, who was working at the Pink Cow bar in Roppongi when Adelstein hired her and shared bylines with her in major US media.
One article is titled: “In Japan, Hamster Asses are Cute. Cute my Ass. Hamsters are homicidal rodents.”
Julianne Chiaet claims on her Facebook page that she studied at Rutgers University until 2014 and became “Managing Editor” at Japan Subculture Research Center.
Adelstein’s website ran an article “The Lazy Egg That Japan Loves” by Reina Iino. It’s not clear if Iino is a teenager or in her twenties. She claims she works at Japan Subculture Research Center, Artrick Model Agency and Tokyo Model Agency “Alpha-Management”. These are photos on her Twitter, Facebook profiles.
Here’s more screenshots concerning Jake Adelstein and young women, girls in Japan.