Submitted by cliff on Sat, 03/12/2016 – 02:19
My relationsip with Japan & Asia begins before I was born. Here is my story –
My NY born German Jew / Irish father (what a mix!) was a US CWO Naval Communications Officer.
Mom’s family are from Palermo and Messina, Sicily.
During WWII at the Battle of Saipan dad led a team of bilingual Japanese Americans attempting to stop thousands of Japanese from jumping to their deaths off the cliffs.
In 1960 when I was 10 after living on US Naval bases 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 has many Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Latinos and Euro immigrants so I had a rich ethnic mix of friends.
In 1965 at Fleming Jr HS in Lomita, Calif (Quentin Tarantino later attended) I was classmates with Joe Puerta – founding bassist vocalist of Grammy winning group Ambrosia.
Hits include That’s How Much I Feel, You’re the Biggest Part of Me, Holding On To Yesterday.
I was featured Blues singer / harpman in their shows and bandleader when I used their rhythm section on my own gigs.
1969-77 I booked and led bands throughout LA using top musicians in the bands of Stevie Wonder, Steve Miller, Huey Lewis, Johnny Nash and others.
Mid 1970’s I joined The Association whose #1 hits include Windy, Cherish, Never My Love, Along Comes Mary.
Also played 2 years of ‘casuals’ in the Art Pepper, Tommy Gumina, Jimmie Smith, Lew Malin Combo.
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 joined them to play at first on the island of Saipan 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 1971 –
I had two deferements from military service – was a fulltime college studnet with had draft lottery number 364 but, when I was contacted by the Hollywood Chapter of the USO and told enteretainer Mr Bob Hope wished to meet me I immediately visited their office, met Mr. Hope and accepted his invitation to go to Vietnam to boost the morale morale of military personnel.
I was given honorary GS-15 status for the duration of my service in Vietnam, Japan, Guam and The Philippines.
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.
General Fred C. Weyand, US Army Chief of Staff
“For your outstanding contribution to the morale and welfare of the United States and other free world military assistance forces in the Republic of Vietnam while touring the command entertaining personnel of all services. The significant and lasting impression you made enhanced the morale of the fighting forces and reflects great credit upon yourself and your profession.”
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 bandleader and concert 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 sales 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-54 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.
Mark A. Smith, Major, US Army, Special Forces
(Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, 8 Bronze Stars, Legion of Valor, 3x Medal of Honor Nominee, returned POW Cambodia)
“I have known Cliff Woolley since 1995 and have personal observations of him in various scenarios ranging from charitable endeavors to revolution and war. During the 1997 Coup in Cambodia, Cliff was one of the few Westerners who did not flee the country. He stayed on station and attempted to record for history the horrific murders and mutilations which took place. During the entire time he never ceased his charitable humanitarian efforts on behalf of the poor, especially children. This was all in keeping with Cliff’s past history of going to Vietnam in the early 1970s to entertain American troops engaged in combat. This he did at the expense of his own professional music career. In any capacity calling for professional conduct and a unique ability to deal with Asians from peasants to royalty, Cliff Woolley has my highest personal and professional recommendation. In doing so I take great pleasure in joining General Fred Weyand and others in my most favorable assessment of Cliff’s abilities.”
Subject: The Role of Mr. Cliff Woolley in Reporting on Cambodia 1992-2003 and the Thai Lao Cambodia Region through 2010
Cliff was an integral member in charge of communications on a team reporting on the 1997 coup de e’tat in Cambodia with General Soth Sombat the Interpol Liaison Officer. He remained in Cambodia during the coup and the only way we could communicate was him using the networks and equipment of those whom had fled the country in fear.
We reported on the drug connection being used by the cohorts of current Prime Minister Hun Sen to ship worldwide. There is no debate on Cliff’s experience level in being part of the reporting efforts at that time. His role was key to the success of that effort. His ability to adapt and think on his feet was singularly unique and not only supported the reporting but saved lives region-wide.
Cliff’s value in any law enforcement effort would very rapidly become apparent as essential to the success of any such effort.
Major Mark A. Smith, USA, Retired
I was also 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. Ngor 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
Japanese injustice child abductions
Submitted by cliff on Mon, 04/30/2018 – 22:45
Nov 2020 Update
PROBLEMS WITH THE JAPANESE LEGAL SYSTEM: FORCED CONFESSIONS, LACK OF AUTOPSIES AND WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT
Detailed report of injustices in Japan’s legal system
2019 Jan update
Parental child abduction places Japan on blacklist
Japan is accused of not having effective measures to enforce court orders demanding that abducting parents return children to the countries where they previously resided.
1 May 2018 Comments I sent to Washington Post and CNN
Lately you’ve given Japanese female Shiori Ito alleged rape lots of coverage.
Shiori Ito’s allegations are a domestic issue. It’s not even gone to trial.
I am married to a Japanese medical professional w 3 kids am valued member of society.
Was savagely assaulted hit by car kicked in head while walking home in front of Japanese witnesses who reported crime to police who buried the case, broke laws protecting the perp.
I sustained permanent internal & external injuries and PTSD. Unable to work again.
Took my case all the way to Tokyo High Court. Never got justice.
Learned police routinely protect shelter reward Japanese perps vs foreign victims.
THIS is international news.
Contact me for reports and evidence.
This concerns every international resident and visitor.
Japan has abducted 10’s of thousands of kids of American / foreign fathers, not one has been returned.
23 JULY 2019 UPDATE
US EMBASSY TOKYO has removed the link containing a info and bar graph indicating Japan’s child abductions by country but if you Google these words you can still see the bar graph – amview japan child abductions
Image result for amviewjapan bar graph
US Embassy had this link on it’s homepage but recently removed it
The bar graph graphically shows the rapid increase in the number of parental child abduction cases to Japan since the year 2000. Depicting statistics provided by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and France, the chart shows the growth in the number of cases tracked by these countries from the year 2000 through Nov. 30, 2009.
Image result for amview japan child abductions
the rapid increase in the number of parental child abduction cases to Japan since the year 2000
Not one foreign father has been granted visitation or custody.
During his 2018 Japan visit Trump met a dozen Japanese families who allege a family member was abducted by N Korea 30 years ago.
Trump did not meet with or talk about any left behind American fathers with Abe.
Yet, he promised Abe he’d talk to DPRK Marshall Kim about their alleged abductions.
Submitted by cliff on Thu, 03/24/2016 – 07:10