cliff's blog


My relationsip with Japan & Asia begins before I was born. Here's the story - my NY born German / Irish father was a US Naval Communications Officer in the Battle of Saipan.  Mom's family are from Palermo, Messina, Siciliana.  

Dad led a team of bilingual Japanese Americans attempting to stop thousands of Japanese from jumping to their deaths off the cliffs.  After the war dad's brother married a Japanese and I have Japanese American cousins.

In 1960 when I was 10 after living in DC, MD, NY, NJ and French Morocco where I had wonderful Arab nannies we moved to Gardena and Torrance S Calif. home of the largest Japanese population outside of Japan.  I met my first Japanese teachers and friends there. The South Bay of Los Angeles also has many Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Latinos and Euro immigrants so I had a rich ethnic mix of friends.  

From 1965 I went to school with Joe Puerta who became founding bassist of Grammy winning group Ambrosia with whom I played for years.  I was featured singer / blues harpman in their shows and bandleader guitarist vocalist when I used their rhythm section on my own gigs.  

From 67-77 I played in, led and booked bands throughout LA using top musicians in the bands of Stevie Wonder, Tower of Power, Steve Miller, Tina Turner, Huey Lewis, Johnny Nash and others.

Highlights of my young career were being a member of multi #1 hit group The Association and in the Art Pepper Tommy Gumina Jimmy Smith Casual Jazz Combo 2 years.  

Joe Barile, then drummer for The Ventures, and their guitarist Marco Carlieri arranged for me to join a band that worked the Japan circuit. I headed first to play on the island of Saipan a year then to Tokyo where I reside today.

I have many things to write about in my years in Japan beginning with my first arrival in 1972.

In 72 I had just served in Vietnam for the USO at the invitation of entertainer Bob Hope and was sent to Japan to help in military hospitals - sitting on beds boosting morale of wounded soldiers and doing shows nationwide for the troops.  

I experienced the futility and horrors of war firsthand.

Just before leaving Vietnam in Sept 25, 1972 I met and was awarded by General Fred C. Weyand Commander of all Free World Forces Vietnam for my service, one of the proudest moments of my life.  The General became US Army Chief of Staff.  We later became friends after the General retired in Hawaii.  He played tenor sax in a Benny Goodman style big band and lap steel guitar having studied with the great Jerry Byrd.

When Gen. Weyand died in 2010 I attended his services in Hawaii and met former Chiefs of Staff Generals George Casey Jr. and Eric Shinseki the first Asian American to become Chief of Staff.

I've had a wonderful, productive life in Japan / Asia met and worked with many fine Japanese and all Asians. 

1980-85 Was pro musician and promoter, also worked with Japanese police in copyright theft for American an company whose products were being illegally copied.

1985-90 Worked with Paramount & Universal Video Asia marketing and anti piracy.  

1995-2000 Social worker SE Asia. Concurrently, journalist on a team with US Army SF Major Mark A. Smith (ret) and the Cambodian liaison to Interpol General S. reporting on crimes against humanity and the overthow of the government.

That erupted with Russian T-55 tanks and troops blasting the streets of Phnom Penh to smithereens on the afternnon of July 7, 1997.  It was back to year zero in Cambodia.  

I was honored to be commended for helping the Khmers by Mr. Dith Pran protagonist of film The Killing Fields.

It's ironic that in 1985 when I worked for Paramount & Universal I met Dr. Haing S. Gnor who portrayed Pran in The Killing Fields when he was in Tokyo to promote the film.  

I am sad to report both of these fine gentlemen are no longer with us. RIP

here's a magazine interview about my activities in Cambodia & Thai Laos which I continue today  



I have had a wonderful and productive life in Japan, but especially in recent years the irresponsible lack of transparency and honesty in Japanese and international media greatly disturbs me and has led to victmization of many foreigners.

I attended the trial of Tastuya Ichihashi who in 2007 kidnapped, raped, brutally tortured and murdered UK English teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker.

At the trial Lindsay's roomate a Canadian lady named Nicole was the first to testify - 'We thought Japan was entirely safe, kind of like Disneyland, we had never read or heard anything to the contrary.'  

It is so tragic that perhaps if the media had publicized the reality of Japan people like Lindsay, Lucie Blackman and other victims would have been more careful and be alive today.

It is with this objectvie in mind that I shall endeavor to publicize the dangers of life in Japan.

I have always respected the laws wherever I live, so far that's MD, DC, NY, French Morocco, NJ, S  Calif.

Hawaii, Saipan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan.

It disturbs me deeply to know officials do not do their jobs shelter aid even reward criminals who have committed crimes 

against the good guys.  And victims have no recourse.

Like anywhere else there's a lot of craziness around that escapes the media.  

In this blog I will attempt to draw attention to that sort of stuff...  

For starters I suggest you have a look at these links 

How Japan came to rank worse than Tanzania on press freedom

To illustrate there is little freedom of the press in Japan here's an interview with respected journalist Kenichi Asano

Link to movie depicting Kafka-esque Japanese legal system.

Even So, I Didn't Do It! (Soredemo Boku Wa Yattenai)

Japan treats 1 million foreigners as non-existant

No Foreign Tenants


1 American businessman age 54 Tokyo resident walking home on Meguro 1-Chome narrow 210 cm wide street one evening in clearly painted safety lane.  

Japanese male TOMOAKI MIKAMI   三上知昭 

Age 34, stalked & knocked down American with his car from behind (intent), jumped out screaming racist insults including 'die gaijin (foreigner) die' savagely kicked victim repeatedly 10 times in head with his construction boots ‘as hard as he could like a soccer ball,’ he later confessed and drove away.  

Some of victim’s teeth kicked out, eyes blackened, face horribly battered, sustained permanent, irreparable external & internal brain, nervous system injuries and PTSD.  

Middle-aged Japanese couple witnessed this hit-assault-run, reported to Meguro Police. 

Police took victim out of hospital to police station against his will, sheltered the perp, FAILED ALL STEPS of due process procedures, claimed they lost all photos, all evidence, failed to detain perp overnight, failed to give Victim’s Rights Handbook as required by law.  

Failed to send photo of perp and photo of victim's terribly battered faceto prosecurot.

They deliberately broke their own laws to protect   TOMOAKI MIKAMI   三上知昭

Police wrote 4 pages of assailant fabricated story without verifying one single statement, 

Police refused to record anything reported by victim.

Police deliberately failed to fulfill all required steps of due process in which they are thoroughly trained.


Police report lacked every step of due process but prosecutor KENICHI KURIHARA

failed to request a factual report from police or investigate. 

KURIHARA did not make one phone call to victim, medical or dental doctors. 

KURIHARA merely stamped the report and forwarded to Summary Court.  

Summary court hearing prosecutor KENICHI KURIHARA and judge OSAMU SAITO did not ask one question of assailant.  

Witnesses were not contacted. 

Victim was not informed of or invited to the hearing. 

Judge failed to jail assailant TOMOAKI MIKAMI. 

Assailant fined small amount ($3,000) and went home.

Tokyo District Court JUDGE TOSHIKAZU KINOO  木納敏和  

Made racist statements ('the amount you are asking ($350,0000 is a lot for a Japanese') in front of witnesses before making a decision, failed to study medical reports, failed to award victim compensation for loss of work, permanent injuries, PTSD treatment or  transportation fees incurred for medical treatment, ordered victim to pay assailant's court fees, awarded victim 1/10 of amount he requested.

Dirtbag Lawyer HAYATO TERAI  勇人 寺井 

TERAI set his own fee then later complained in writing that all of his other clients paid more.  

Bragged how good he was and that the young generation Japanese lawyers passed an easier test.  

Soon as he contacted assailant's lawyer he reported that Mikami admitted he was 70% guilty.  


Victim hired Terai with stipulation he would get victim approval for any document BEFORE Terai submitted it to court.

Terai failed to fulfill this obligation.

Two weeks before trial Terai told victim for the first time that MIKAMI's lawyer had always said he wanted to settle out of court.  Since hiring Terai 10 months ago he had never told that to victim before.

Terai told victim HE WAS ALWAYS VERY NERVOUS BEFORE GOING TO TRIAL. Is this what a lawyer is supposed to tell a client?

Day of trial Terai arrived one hour late for pre-court meeting.  Failed to review with victim any questions he would ask Mikami, failed to ask Mikami any of the questions victim had instructed, failed to interpret during trail and quit immediately afterwards without informing the court. 

He said he'd return his fee to victim but lied and did not.

Tokyo High Court judge MONDEI

Refused to hear testimony form victim's Japanese nurse wife,

Refused to study case before court session

Discounted assailant’s monetary offer of compensation to victim by 10% 'if he paid his fine on time!'   

What is this,  Walmart? 


American businessman riding bicycle at noon in clearly painted safety lane in Meguro Ward with 14 year old son riding bicycle behind him hit knocked & down in street by K van driven recklessly illegally by Japanese man who continued driving.  
American, a stroke patient on blood thinners, fell to street bleeding profusely. Meguro police refused to cite driver, laughed throughout inspection of incident.

American male was assaulted, struck in chest 3 times by Dendo Preschool Hoikuen Preschool attendant MR. YUJI KOGURE when he went to pick up his 5 year old daughter.  KOGURE blocked class doorway preventing father from picking up his daughter.  The assault witnessed by American's elder daughter.  Meguro Police refused to accept a criminal complaint.  Four months later Meguro Ward officials wrote letter to victim saying they wanted to apologize but they never did in spite of being repeatedly reminded by victim.

American man walking home encountered Japanese man screaming full voiced at a Japanese lady on Dendo Bridge in Meguro while neighbors watched from their windows.  American man approached asked Japanese man to stop. Japanese man assaulted American. Meguro police were summoned.  They refused to accept criminal complaint.

American father of Japanese children went to Shimo Meguro Elementary School to pick up his son during a fierce typhoon, the worst in many year history.  School officials refused to permit the son to go home with father.  Son later told father the principal had held him against his will in an empty classroom.  Japanese mother had to go out in typhoon and pick up son at the school.

6  American Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Tokyo while riding his motorcycle was hit by car driven recklessly by Japanese lady.  American sustained broken collar bone and hip. He gave police the car license - they failed to follow up.

American businessman age 53 waiting for train was being intimidated by ruffian looking younger Japanese man.

When train arrived American man pushed the Japanese fellow away to jump on the train and escape.  

Train was stopped, police took American to police box demanded to see his bankbook. 

American refused but ended up paying Japanese fellow JPY 200,000 yen or go to jail.

British financial worker waiting for bus was pushed by Japanese thuggish looking man who butted into line ahead of him.  

They briefly grappled fell to pavement no punches thrown by either.  Nearby policemen detained Briton 23 days made him pay Japanese thug JPY1.6 million yen approx $16,000 USD to go free.

Well-known British radio personality long time Japan resident pepper sprayed in face in church by Japanese man.  

The Japanese fellow ran outside jumped in car & drove away.  Witnesses reported license to police who found Japanese hours later.  He said he loaned his car to a friends that morning so didn’t know who was driving.  No further follow up by police.

10 Meguro Hoikuen Preschool Japanese attendant intimidated & frightened children some refused to attend the preschool. After numerous parent complaints Meguro Ward office officials dismissed preschool attendant but hid incident from media.

11 American man driving his car legally through a green light intersection was broadsided by a Japanese truckdriver who ran the red light. The Japanese driver was found guilty but the court ruled the American was partly responsible. Why? BECAUSE HE WAS THERE!








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