What If You Turned Yourself In?


I have written several times about the fact that Roppongi Men’s Chorus Club, of which I am a member and officer, will perform a musical at Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Shibuya on January 14th and 15th. The title is “Waist Size Story.” The title is slightly different from the title of the well-known hit musical from the 1960’s (amazingly enough, there are many people who don’t catch the difference!) because the story takes place 50 years after the story in the movie that we all know and love.

Over the last three-day weekend, the cast members spent three days and two nights at a special rehearsal “camp” at a certain place in Tokyo. I discovered then that many members are reading my blog and Facebook postings. Some of the best comments were “Very interesting” or “You made me laugh” or “You tell it like it is.” Thanks to everyone for your support. There were, however, some people who said “You can only say that because you are an American” or “You are brave to take on some delicate topics.” Actually, I don’t necessarily agree with that.

To be honest, there are lots of things I don’t want to go out of my way to write about, and I don’t consider myself to be especially brave. Many years ago when I was asked to be on a certain live television show, I was instructed that there were several topics about which I must not speak during live broadcasts. I was still in my early thirties and may not have had a full understanding of Japanese common mentality, and of course my comments could not be edited out of a live broadcast. So, I received a stern lecture about this. I thought, “If I inadvertently touch on one of these topics, I may very well be dropped from the show the next week.”

えっ!? 発言を禁止された話題の詳細が知りたいですか? 私がほぼ毎週のように生放送に出ていた頃からずいぶん時間が経ったとは言え、テレビ業界には刑法と違って時効がありませんからねぇ…。「テレビ局と出演者の関係は1000年経っても変わらない!」みたいな無茶苦茶な事を言われたら困りますし、裏から手を回されて出国禁止にされても嫌ですし…。あっ、ここは法治国家の日本だから大丈夫なのかな?!
What? You want to know what topics were prohibited? A long time has passed since I appeared on that show almost every week, but there is no statute of limitations in the broadcast industry. I don’t need someone criticizing me for violating “The 1,000 year relationship between a TV station and the actors,” and I would hate to have them arrange with the authorities to have me banned from leaving the country. Oops! That shouldn’t be a problem because this is a country where the rule of law prevails!


いや、はい。でも、そうですね。分かりました! 今日は、私が昔から「なんで?」と思っている、日本のテレビ局が滅多に触れないタブーの一つについて、あえて挑んでみましょう。しかし、本来であればテレビ番組内で口に出すことすらタブー視されている話題ですよ。そして通常、タブーに触れるということは、その問題への批判が含まれることを意味しますよね?
So I just replied, “Yes,” “I understand” and “That’s right.” I have long wondered why one certain topic is hardly ever covered on television shows, so today I will take on the challenge of discussing it. Keep in mind this is a topic which is taboo to discuss on television. And generally a taboo covers making critical comments about that topic, too.




In other words, this article will tread on sacred ground, so I am reluctant to name specific industries or organizations. To be honest, it is a little scary. So, after giving it some thought, I decided to resort to the time-honored tradition in broadcast journalism of bleeping out potentially offensive words.

By doing so, I realize that it will make for slightly difficult reading in Japanese. There may even be people who will not be able to decipher what I am talking about. In that case, I can only offer apologies in advance. This is an article written for the understanding of people who understand.

On the other hand, we have many readers who do not understand Japanese or the current situation in Japan, so in the English translation, I will add a certain amount of explanation or change the content as appropriate.

With that long introduction, let’s move on to the subject at hand and unmask this issue, with bleeps inserted for parts which I do not want to discuss, but which must be discussed in order to cover the topic.

I am referring to certain establishments which, from my almost 40 years living in Japan and from my legal perspective, operate illegal gambling. I consider this one of the “Seven Legal Wonders” of Japan. In other words, [bleep] parlors, which can be found in prime locations in the entertainment districts around stations, or as mammoth garish establishments located along national highways in the countryside.


It is estimated that there are over 10,000 [bleep] parlors throughout the country. Annual revenue is between 20 and 30 trillion yen. I believe that it has become even more difficult for mass media to tackle this issue because television advertising has increased so much in recent years,

A few months ago, the opinion was expressed and reported in the press that “If casinos are legalized in Japan, they should be limited to foreign tourists.” With all due respect, this was beyond laughable. This argument was a shameless concession to pressure from the [bleep] industry which stands to lose a large share of its business.


If the reason dreamed up for such reasoning was that Japanese are especially prone to gambling addiction, then the government and the [bleep] industry should do something about [bleep] first. It would help prevent overwhelming debt, child neglect, suicide, illegal overseas transfers or contributions of money, and official corruption. This sounds like a cure-all!
http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2140601228877509001  http://pachinkokouryaku.fc2web.com/houdou.html  http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q13120357958




As reported by “A Shinbun” (which makes the report itself suspect), at a meeting of “The Alliance of Diet Members for an Entertainment Business Law in Line with the Times” (“Entertainment Business Alliance”) held on July 24th, apparently some [bleep] officers, the very people who should be cracking down on illegal gambling, testified (or did not testify) that they did not know that the gambling proceeds are converted to cash.

If the [bleep] officers in charge really are unaware, then we should educate them on the actual way in which proceeds from [bleep] parlors are converted to cash outside the law. (For foreign readers, [bleep] proceeds (the little steel balls) are first converted to merchandise at a window within the [bleep] parlor, after which this merchandise can be converted to cash at a window outside but adjacent to the [bleep] parlor. These outside windows are firmly administered and controlled by former [bleep] officers. This system is called “santen houshiki” in Japanese, which is translated to English as the “three shop system.”)

三店方式 http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%89%E5%BA%97%E6%96%B9%E5%BC%8F

It goes without saying that this is a shameless “public secret.” In other words, [bleep] officers intentionally look the other way to protect the highly valuable future opportunity for them or their colleagues to “descend from heaven” (this term refers to employment by former public servants in the industry which they formerly oversaw).

No matter how much the “three shop system” is explained in email or by telephone, or graphically by power point presentations or on YouTube, I cannot imagine any change occurring in the [bleep] organization. It seems that preservation and promotion of descent from heaven is more important than an impartial investigation or the trust invested in public officials.

So, I thought to myself, what if some brave person were to turn himself in to the local [bleep] station for the consummated crime of gambling saying “I am so sorry. I just went to a [bleep] parlor and turned 1,000 yen into 20,000 yen by engaging in gambling as prohibited by Article 185 of the Criminal Code.”


Assume that the suspect clearly stated “I freely admit that I committed the crime of illegal gambling,” and that from his testimony it could be ascertained that the necessarily elements of the crime, malice (intent to commit the crime), lack of justifiable cause for noncompliance with the law, and culpability were all present. The normal sequence would be that the [bleep] parlor and all of the three shops would be accomplices for their conspiracy in opening gambling establishments in violation of the crime of establishment of a gambling operation for the purpose of obtaining gain (Article 186(2) of the Criminal Code).

For example, in the case of a bank robbery, not just the actual robber, but also the lookouts and getaway car drivers can all be convicted as accomplices in the robbery. This follows that reasoning. A faithful reading of the Criminal Code would dictate the above result.




If, however, notwithstanding the foregoing, the Japanese [bleep] failed to conduct a proper investigation and released the suspect of their own accord, this would be most unfortunate. Japan would no longer have the standing to criticize some of its neighbors as not being countries where the rule of law prevails.

参考資料: http://www.sankei.com/world/news/141008/wor1410080046-n1.html

If the suspect were actually convicted of illegal gambling, he would be subject to a fine of up to 500,000 yen. But if he were to solicit contributions on the internet, he should be able to gather that much money very easily, and I think he would be able to publish the story, where he would probably be lionized as a hero for being the first to turn himself in to the [bleep] and be convicted for his [bleep] crime, thus turning a handsome profit.


However, if he were charged with the crime of habitual gambling under Article 186(1) of the Criminal Code, he would be subject to a sentence of up to three years in prison. There is no assurance that he would not be treated as a traitor who screwed it up for those looking forward to descending from heaven and who needed to be strung up as an example for anyone else contemplating such treachery. I doubt anyone reading this article has such intentions, but if you are thinking of turning yourself in, make sure that you are not a habitual gambler.

犯罪をそそのかすのは罪だけど、犯罪者に自首を勧めるのは罪じゃないですよね。あれ? でも自首する前に「ピー!」をやって換金するという違法な賭博行為に手を染めなきゃいけないから、犯罪をそそのかしたことになっちゃうのかな?
Enticement to crime is itself a crime, but it is not a crime to urge someone to turn himself in. But wait! Before someone can turn himself in, he must play [bleep] and exchange the proceeds for money, so is my telling someone to turn himself in an enticement to crime?

いずれにしても「ピー!」のために、短い人生の貴重な時間とお金を費やすなんてもったいない! 自分自身のためにも、家族のためにも、社会のためにも、日本のためにも、「ピー!」なんて一日も早く止めた方が良いと私は思いますよ。
In any event, it is a total waste to expend one’s precious time and money in this short life on [bleep]. For the person himself, for his family, for society in general, and for Japan itself, I think it is highly advisable for anyone to quit [bleep] as soon as possible.