Monday, April 12, 2010

Convene Reads: Tokyo Vice

Last summer I blogged about an offhand reference to big, important exhibitions that I came across in a book I was reading at the time. It's happened frequently enough since then that I'm inaugurating a new feature on our blog -- Convene Reads -- where you'll find passages related to meetings and conventions from all different kinds of books that aren't specifically about meetings and conventions. Such as Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, by Jake Adelstein, who went from writing articles about human trafficking in Tokyo to working as an anti-trafficking activist:
I felt gratified in another sense: when the U.S. Embassy [in Tokyo] held a symposium on human trafficking at the United Nations University later that month, I was invited to be a panelist. Not a journalist, but a participant. I felt honored.

At the conference, the National Police Agency representative gave a speech outlining the amazing things Japan had done to combat human trafficking. I couldn't resist raising my hand during the Q&A, and I went on a tirade. I related my experience dealing with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, and then, using as an example the same roadblocks thrown in my face, I proceeded to explain why the NPA directive was a worthless piece of self-serving crap. The questions after my questions were only slightly less brutal.
Talk about the power of meetings.

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