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U.S. Embassy warns citizens about drink spiking in Roppongi

76 Comments

The U.S. Embassy is warning its citizens to watch out for drink spiking in Tokyo's nightlife area of Roppongi.

In an alert posted on its website, the embassy said it continues to receive reports of drink spiking incidents, particularly near the Roppongi crossing area.

"We remind U.S. citizens to exercise caution and maintain security awareness in entertainment districts like Roppongi and Shinjuku's Kabuki-cho, as drink spiking incidents over the years have routinely led to robbery and occasionally resulted in physical and sexual assaults," the embassy statement said. "In most drink-spiking reports, the victim unknowingly drinks a beverage that has been mixed with a drug, rendering the victim unconscious or dazed for several hours, during which time the victim's credit card is stolen or used for large purchases. Some victims regain consciousness in the bar or club; other victims may awaken on the street or in other unknown locations."

According to the embassy, U.S. citizens have also reported being charged exorbitant bar tabs in some bars and clubs in Roppongi, Kabuki-cho, and other entertainment and nightlife districts. Some have reported being threatened with gun or knife violence in such venues to pay bar tabs or withdraw money. U.S. citizens have also reported being beaten when they have refused to pay or hand over money, the statement said.

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Happened to my friend in Shinjuku a couple of years ago. He wake up in a doorway at 3pm in the afternoon. Wallet and phone gone. Lucky for him all things considered!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

All the Police have to do is clear the streets of the African touts then the bars would go out of business due to a lack of customers. It amazes me that the police are so useless in regards to this issue, it seems they dont care as most of the victims are non Japanese.

27 ( +30 / -6 )

Never follow a tout , stick to established, respectable bars and restaurants, and never leave your drink unattended. If you follow these rules, your chances of this occurring are almost nil.

14 ( +12 / -1 )

Unfortunately, the aggressive foreign touts have made Roppongi a no-go area for me as well. Too bed, I quite liked some of the pubs.

9 ( +10 / -2 )

Basically this is a polite way to say "don't go to bars that are run by Africans"

11 ( +15 / -5 )

Needless io say it will worsen since no action is taken... Japanese need to strike before it spreads like cancer definitively.

14 ( +14 / -1 )

I know a number of people that this has happened to in Roppongi. Some of them never even left their drinks unattended, but something was obviously slipped in at the time they were served. Also, the police are absolutely no help in those cases. Roppongi visitor beware.

Personally, I avoid the place like the plague. Lots of riff-raff there, Japanese and non-Japanese alike.

22 ( +21 / -0 )

Or, learn some Japanese and go out and explore the exciting and practically limitless world of local izakaya, bars, and cafe. Come all the way to live/work/play in Japan and Roppongi is where you carouse?

15 ( +19 / -5 )

AFAIK it's not just happening in places with touts.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

My Roppongi days ended a decade ago BUT I still like to go there for some of the restaurants. My girl absolutely hates walking up and down the street there due to the African touts. The cat calling doesn't help either.

The only thing I like about Roppongi now is that Turkish Kebab restaurant. I sincerely hope nobody has anything bad to say about that place. If so, Roppongi would be a write off.

As for Shinjuku 2-chome and that other area where they have that stupid robot show tourist trap. Everybody should avoid that place. EVERYBODY! That's all mafia.

7 ( +8 / -2 )

Is there a list of these bars available somewhere?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is a problem that has been going on for years and it will only get worse unless the police does some crackdowns and some visarevoking.

8 ( +6 / -0 )

The police don't care about this. Or more likely, they are being paid not to care. They won't do anything until sometime before the Olympics, where they'll clean it all up for a little while. Then the payments will resume from whomever is paying them, and drink spiking will resume.

16 ( +14 / -0 )

The amount of African touts has reduced recently but they still lurk, the cops need to clean them right out, and close the bars they operate from.

Plenty of places in roppongi are safe to go with no fear of getting spiked, if you know where to go you will have no problem.

Its a shame that the Africans have been allowed to operate in such a manner, they hustle and try to intimidate anyone walking by, a simple no thanks doesn't work with them either, so sometimes they need to aggressively be told to F OFF before they get the message, being polite with them often is not enough, and then the very next one starts the hustle all over again.

5 ( +11 / -5 )

You are in Japan and going into a place run by Nigerians? Why?

9 ( +12 / -4 )

Plenty of places in roppongi are safe to go with no fear of getting spiked, if you know where to go you will have no problem.

Or maybe if people know how much drink they can manage then we shouldnt be worried about getting our drinks spiked aye?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Nothing new but be careful out there. As in the Tom Waits song Small Change - The raconteurs and roustabouts said buddy come on in.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Couple of comments.

The hesitance of the J cops to address the tout issue reminds me of how they used to futz around with the dodgy Iranians selling doctored phone cards years ago. I have spoken about this with my brother-in-law (a bilingual Japanese cop), and he reckons that many young officers on the beat are essentially thrown to the wolves in places like Roppongi and Kabuki-cho when it comes to countering the "foreign menace".

The drink-spiking issue in Roppongi is something that pops up periodically. The US embassy takes the lead, somebody goes down to the NPA headquarters and a lukewarm crackdown follows. Expect to see more J Cops on the streets in a couple of weeks (probably in the new year).

Finally, I echo the views of other posters. If you are living or visiting Japan, why waste your time and money in Roppongi? Explore your local environment, try something new and make new friends. Much better than risking your welfare in a cesspit like Roppongi.

7 ( +7 / -1 )

You are in Japan and going into a place run by Nigerians? Why?

Obviously havent been to Roppongi. Have you

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I get what people are trying to say with the African touts on the street trying to pull people into bars but PLEASE - dont assume they are all like that. My very good friend (of Nigerian descent but now a naturalized Japanese) professionally runs an establishment in Roppongi. He speaks 5 languages including English, Japanese, Chinese and eastern European languages, he is polite, kind, incredibly smart and one of the nicest people I have ever had the privilege to call a friend.

I was also molested once on the street in Roppongi by a drunk white guy. When I screamed, he just laughed. It was one of "those" African men who stepped in to help me, chased him off and made sure I was ok. There is bad, but there is a lot of good too.

15 ( +15 / -3 )

Happened to two friends of mine... 100% real and it's done by girls to guys that look like they have cash.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Or, learn some Japanese and go out and explore the exciting and practically limitless world of local izakaya, bars, and cafe. Come all the way to live/work/play in Japan and Roppongi is where you carouse?

Even without Japanese, a lot of places have picture menus. I'll have this one and two of these things.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Even without Japanese, a lot of places have picture menus. I'll have this one and two of these things.

Eating what you dont know? Food poisoining comes to mind.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

If you are an American, register with the US Embassy. You get periodical messages like this. It is a good system.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think the dodgy small bars are a good filtering tool in Ropz. Without them you would have unfiltered accessibility toi all clubs and bars which would be terrible for some of the better bars in Roppongi. You get all types in Ropz so it's better to keep the nicer places filled with the same type of people while filtering those who just wanna get drunk and cause trouble relegated to the dodgy bars. It has been working very well

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I was the victim of drink spiking in Roppongi 2 years back, when one of the famous night club charged me 400,000 JPY for 8 hour of my stay in the club, out of 8 hours I was unconscious for 6 hours. I moved to Kanda and Ikebukero area for entertainment after that, in fact Kabukicho area is more safer than Roppongi, but most of the club there denied access to Aliens, so most of the Aliens don't have choice other than to explorer Roppongi Area.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I know quite a few people who've been the victims of this scam. Typical damages are in the range of USD 10,000, sometimes higher. We think they use something like ruphenol (roofie -the date rape drug). What's scary is that it makes the person completely stoned and incapable of remembering what's happening, but still functional enough to sign a credit card or operate an ATM. The touts and their hooker bait girls really go people who are already drunk.

Credit card companies are completely unhelpful because they see the victim's signature on the receipt and it looks legit. Even if the card holder had never before ordered five bottles of Cristal it doesn't matter.

The J cops are completely useless with this scam. When one of my friends filed a police report and told them he was going to go to the bar to complain, they warned him to be careful "becasuse those people are dangerous". Classic J cop response.

For those wondering, the reason why the J cops don't do anything is because the victims are foreigners. As long as this doesn't happen to a Japanese the cops basically look the other way. The touts know that if they start going after Japanese the cops will come after them, so they stick to chasing foreigners. It's the local cops mentality - keep crime localized within certain districts and let the foreigners prey on other foreigners.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

These scammers in Roppongi are the lowest form of life. They do things that would not work anywhere in the world because they are scared of everywhere in the world. In the US they would get shut down immediately. In other parts of the world their bars and clubs would be burned down and/or they would be killed because they would do this to the wrong person or just too many people. Obviously they can't survive anywhere in the world except for Japan because they allow it.

I honestly hope they are reading this to know exactly what everyone thinks of them!!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Make me Happy just being Sober! Maybe the bar staff are in with this scam.as for these "Touts" being African it makes no diff to me they're All Shite in my book no matter the skin color!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This warning is hardly "news" as it has been the standard warning on the US Embassy's site for Tokyo for years now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

These touts also have lockers in the clubs where girls can put their handbags, but guess what? They open them on the other side and take what they want.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If Roppongi is the hellhole that you are describing and Japan is worried about their image ahead of the Olympics. Why don't they just destroy the whole area and put it in their Olympic venue plans. In Osaka, there is no one area where all of the expats go, the places are scattered throughout the city.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

U.S. Embassy warns citizens about drink spiking in Roppongi

Roppongi is the armpit of Tokyo and that armpit needs a good cleaning because it smells!

Close it down and clean it up!

DaDudeDec. 01, 2014 - 01:10PM JST If Roppongi is the hellhole that you are describing and Japan is worried about their image ahead of the Olympics. Why don't they just destroy the whole area and put it in their Olympic venue plans.

That's is silly, all Japan has to do is clear out all the touts and close the establishments that are found to be using these kinds of tactics and bingo no more problem.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A couple of years ago a bunch of my friends after a lot of drinking with me decided to follow an African tout at Roppongi. I was with them and warned them about possible "consequences", but my friends were really drunk, first time in Japan and were looking for adventures. It turned out to be a small strip joint. Well, nothing horrible happened. The drink was lousy (not spiked, but really lousy), girls were really nice - good-looking, friendly (Brazilians, Rumanian, one Japanese). The tab was rather steep. There were four of us (as many as male staff of the joint), and my friends were not sissy-looking, to put it mildly.We discussed the matter with the staff and after some argument settled it peacefully. My most vivid impression - how it is difficult to get out of the place! No marked exits, and you can't use the elevatot on your own, usual buttons don't work, you need a tout to escort you, they operate it with mobile phones.

So, my advice about such places: it is like a commando mission, if you go in, everything can happen, including a good fight. And if you actually go in, have a plan how to get out!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

jilh2:

" Is there a list of these bars available somewhere? "

Just don´t follow the Nigerian touts wherever they want to take you to. That is really the only rule you need to follow.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is a sad situation. Roppongi used to be a nice place. It was OK in Heisei ga nen when I visited.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That sounds like an adventure that was possibly worth the steep tab, Asakaze! I can't think of any reason a sane person would follow a shady person anywhere, but while the touts are a pain in the neck, I haven't experienced anyone being threatening or physically aggressive. Would still like them gone though. I usually make sure to be as far away from the southern cesspit as possible after six o'clock.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What else do you expect to get when you roam around famous Yakuza territory?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

For your own safety, why not just try to go to iIzakaya's or pub, chicken barbeque place(yakitori yasan) . In iIzakaya's the food and drink rates are affordable and have variety of food and drinks.so as in yakitori yasan

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You have to be pretty naive to go to one of these tourist trap places anyway. It's not as if the dangers of this area is a secret. Why not go to an ordinary restaurant or izakaya? Other embassies should be warning their gullible punters.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Scary. All my years in Japan I've never been to Roppongi, never want to.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Why not go to an ordinary restaurant or izakaya?

Because ordinary restaurants or izakays dont offer topless girls. The ones who get scammed by these low life are not just 'looking for a drink'.

I stopped going to one of the popular bars near the Roppongi crossing because the touts would make the walk back to the station very irritating. They will grab your hand if you refuse them politely.

So my technique is to give them a disgusted look and walk around them as if they were human refuse.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This has been going on for at least ten years, and so have the warnings. Amazing that it's still happening...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why not go to an ordinary restaurant or izakaya?

Why not ride at the back of the bus?

Why not marry your own kind?

Why not wear this yellow star?

It's a slippery slope....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the worst thing is they insist to shake hands and talk to you, really dislike them, even calling you brother... those people are an insult to me, no matter what color has their skin. went a couple of time in roppongi and will never get back there. reminds me the old amsterdam drug pusher damsquare... one of the worst place in tokyo together with few shinjuku streets. avoid this tourist places is the only solution.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Avoid dangerous places no matter what city, what country.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I have to agree the Nigerians are a problem not just in Japan, but Malaysia, Thailand, etc, those of them who are involved with a myriad of vices and crimes, are also part of thriving scammer entitity. But lets not forget that the Yaks and thangs provide the portal for them to operate, as well as corrupt govt officials, and keystones; as in the case in other 3rd world countries. In Malaysia, these nigerian crews have an astounding foothold. Malaysia (so called islamic country-full of ladyboys)) boast about my second home provisionsto outside investors, but this is a enormous scam, But Nigerians- (drug mules, etc) are living it up with nice homes, nice cars, malay women, (i.e. porn stars) and cash in Subang Malaysia. BUT If a law abiding non Malaysian citizen tries to get a second home there,TYPICALLY a river of corruption, greed, graft protectionism, and red tape opens up. . BUT many people are waking up to Malaysia's hypocracy, thats why Malaysian airlines booths are practically empty, not withstanding other reasons. In J-land the Nigerian crime history dfates back to the 80's or earlier They are a cunning, manipulative fluent in the host language, and organized operation; For example marrying the unwanted fat horny j-women to get a spousal visa, so they can implement roots for the " NCS" , all this is covered on many websites- in ENGLISH.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Roppongi appears to have changed since I was there between 1989 and 1992. I can only think of one Nigerian and he worked the door at Deja Vu, where Gas Panic is now. The old Gas Panic was next to the sushi bar and was a cesspit, a very enjoyable one, though. It looked like the sort of place that would be more at home in Metro Manila. Round the graveyard was a nice laid back bar called Charleston It was next to the bottom of the steps that led to the Square Building area. There was another bar just up the steps and right called Gaijin Zone. And that was about it, apart from a place on Gaien Higashi Dori on the right on the way to Roppongi Crossing called Motown and a tiny place called Little Star next to the McDonald's opposite the little road that lead to Vu etc.

I'm pretty certain Roppongi was a much nicer place to party then, but the whole world pre-the means of instant communication was more exciting because you didn't know what was in store before you got there. Now you can preview everything on YouTube etc.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This has been going on for over a decade and the police still turn a blind eye. They must be making a killing. With the Olypmics coming up they better clean up the place or it will turn Japan into the not so "safety" country that the world thinks.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I used to have black "friends" waiting for me along "the mile" 18 years ago, at a time when black people were not allowed to enter any establishment without a white "friend" in Roppongi. GasPanic was packed on Thursday nights with J-gals dancing without panties atop the bar counter. Then around 2002 all went sideways and Roppongi is no longer a choice for me to party.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The blame goes to the one who decides to go with these guys on the street to a strip club or ladies to have sex with when you have a wife and kids back at home. ****

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Interesting post, Patric. Was Gas Panic where Jeja Vu used to be when you were there? Were the J girls working or just on a night out. I rmember western girls used to dance on the old Deja Vu bar topless. Over twenty years ago now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Been to Roppongi a hundreds of times for almost a decade and really never had any troubles save for cops wanting to pad me down for absolutely no reason save "I'm a foreigner". Just use common sense and you'll stay out of troubles. Don't follow touts, don't go into clubs that are "free of charge" unless you are familiar with it, don't accept any offers for "massage", watch where you open your wallets and don't use credit cards.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I could be wrong but I doubt it.... these foreign "touts" have to be backed by the Yakuza. There is no way the Yakuza would allow a bunch of foreigners on their territory without getting a very large piece of the action. They probably have a rule too.... you can scam foreigners all you want but do not scam an actual Japanese citizen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Amazing display of naivety by very many posters. Titty bars and vice are a very Japanese industry. Every single town across this country has some variant of the theme pay-to-play - whether its 'snack', kyabakura, 'night clubs' 'pubs', 'girls bars'. These are all places where you pay to get drunk with women, look at them in various states of undress, and touch them. Soapland and prostitution is never too far away either. The idea that Roppongi is the center of vice in Japan in laughable. Vice IS entertainment in Japan. Just take a visit to Kanda or Kinshcho or any other place where suited males flock to after hours. All run with impunity by the yakuza.

Additionally, Japanese women working in vice have long been raiding their customers wallets after the deed is done, have been known to fake assault and demand large sums to not go to the police - there is nothing new or imported about this racket.

As someone wisely said before, stay away from vice and you will have no issues. Live life decent and you'll never be sat in the holding room of a titty bar with a fist in your face because you are arguing your 400,000JPY bill.

Go home to your wives, or get a girlfriend - or man up and face the consequences of playing in the yakuza's den.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

This warning has been on the US site for years....and I would suggest they expand it a little to Kabukichō as well. The foreign touts there are relentless.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

EmmanuelleKant, great post.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's no big secret the J police get huge kickbacks to turn a blind eye as long as the trouble stays on foreigners, once it spreads across to them (Japanese) well all bets are off. As long as Japan keeps on treating foreigners to stay on that side of the track and not to comingle at other bars with Japanese these things will continue to happen and the division where everyone is welcomed no matter where one is from will never change.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Went to Roppongi once ages and ages ago with a few friends and we had an okay time, but more than anything I was disappointed -- there was so much talk about the place for how utterly crappy it was. And now it sounds like it's gotten a whole lot worse. Can't think of why anyone would want to go there except maybe to see it once, and then leave and go to a place you can enjoy. In any case, for those who DO go there, try to go with someone who knows the place (and that you know well), and exercise common sense for everything else as well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And this is why I just stick to Akihabara.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why do (men) go to Roppongi? Why, for the (supposedly) easy to pick-up, sexy, young little Japanese minxes tottering around in high heels and fishnets, of course.

The reality, of course, is very much different from the above image. Such girls are plenty there, but they're certainly not going to date foreign men; there going there to get drinks and compliments from young foreign men, before making a swift exit back to the "safety" of the countryside/parents' house/Japanese husband or boyfriend.

A BETTER reason to go to roppongi is for some of the good restaurants, upmarket bars and suchlike, but if you REALLY want to pull promiscuous Japanese females, start hanging out in the bars up near Roppongi Hills, or even further away (near the expensive ex-pat accommodation). As long as you pretend to be a banker or financial analyst, etc, the women will throw themselves at you(r money).

As for the black touts downtown, it's easy to ignore them and have fun in some of the non-sketchy bars; I've enjoyed myself in Salsa bars, usually because you can dance with the opposite sex closely, without it being a "meat market" (which is actually more conductive to successfully meeting the opposite sex, funnily enough). I've had girls teaching me moves, which was a lot of fun. Most of the young (American GI's) jocks and bros don't go to salsa bars, either.

Still, I've never pulled in Roppongi and I doubt most foreign men have, either. It's got an reputation for it, but it's not the "sure bet" people make it out to be.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't go to Roppongi very often, as I'm not a fan, but I do know some girls that go there specifically to meet foreign guys, so I find it hard to believe that no one is picking up there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just to be clear, this is not just happening at sleazy bars.

It happened to me at an upscale bar in Roppongi Hills while I was staying at the Grand Hyatt. No touts, no pick-up plans. Having a beer in a bar that turned out to be laced with a rufie. Found out the next day my credit card was used for exorbitant charges at a very sleazy bar I have no recollection of being in. The hotel was useless, as were the police. When I contested the charges my credit card company accused me of fraud and stuck me with the charges, in excess of $11K.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Roppongi is a place best avoided at night

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@gmeds

OMG, best going to have a drink at a combini.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Found out the next day my credit card was used for exorbitant charges at a very sleazy bar I have no recollection of being in. The hotel was useless, as were the police. When I contested the charges my credit card company accused me of fraud and stuck me with the charges, in excess of $11K."

Yikes! Your PIN number should be required whenever you use your credit card to prevent this kind of theft. Unfortunately most places don't require the PIN number.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I had read about the "aggressive touts" in Rappongi and Kabukicho but figured a lot of it was "normal" and the people complaining were just shy personalities. When I vacationed in Tokyo for the first time this past October I stayed in the Best Western Astina Shinjuku hotel - an excellent hotel marred by its proximity to a series of clubs with these Africans outside as touts starting at 9pm - sharp. I was there for a week and these guys would give the hard-sell every time I walked back to my hotel. It was always some variation on "We have what every REAL man needs." One time I even had a guy grab my arm, then stand in front of me blocking my way. At 6'2" and 235 pounds I'm not a wimp, so this tout had pretty big huevos to be doing that. He didn't back off until I took out my phone and stated it was time for the police to resolve the situation.

My original supposition was in error. These touts are a huge problem for Tokyo if they're even getting physically aggressive with people bigger than they are.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fadamor Dec. 03, 2014 - 05:25AM JST marred by its proximity to a series of clubs with these Africans outside as touts starting at 9pm - sharp. I was there for a week and these guys would give the hard-sell every time I walked back to my hotel. It was always some variation on "We have what every REAL man needs."

Don't you think that the reason these Africans aren't working in "real" jobs in Japan could be related to skin color? Blacks in the U.S. have the same problem. Clearly Japan need to be treating these non-japanese a whole lot better. Alot of these guys you see on the street are struggling to get by. It's so easy to lecture from middle to upper class point of view, but there are some people in the world who have fewer choices and sometimes end up in less than desireable lines of work. And its not just street type vendors or bars, entertainment, Japan is a very shady country. Other foreigners do the same thing in Japan, wheeling and dealing trying to make a buck and there is nothing wrong, and sometimes they do it in dubious ways and not always in the most ethical way, but at least these people are not sitting on their butts waiting for a handout. I don't like sometimes their strong-armed tactics, but I can never look down on a person for trying. Japan is a comparatively closed society where conspicuous behavior is looked on with suspicion.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There definitely used to be pickup bars in Roppong where girls go specifically to meet foreigners, and I am pretty sure there still are. But the Nigerian rip-off places in basements with closed exits never were that and never will be. People really should not mix the two scenes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don't you think that the reason these Africans aren't working in "real" jobs in Japan could be related to skin color?

Ah yes... the "poor ethnic people are forced into shady activity because they look different" excuse. Sorry, I'm not buying that. These "oh-so-unfortunate" people managed to fly to Japan and find a paying job. These guys were not dressed like homeless people so they're making at least enough for wardrobe upkeep. A "real" job pays a wage or a commission. The only "non-real" jobs are internships. I highly doubt these guys are interns. Spare me your crocodile tears for a group of people who spent all that time learning a foreign language, yet somehow missed out on learning what the word "no" means.

It's so easy to lecture from middle to upper class point of view, but there are some people in the world who have fewer choices and sometimes end up in less than desireable lines of work.

So? I'm supposed to feel sorry for someone who INTENTIONALLY enters into shady work in a foreign country? Not happening. It's basic right and wrong, Bucky. You take a job on the "wrong" side and I've lost all interest in your circumstances and flat-out reject any attempt you make to justify YOUR decision to go down that road.

Other foreigners do the same thing in Japan, wheeling and dealing trying to make a buck and there is nothing wrong, and sometimes they do it in dubious ways and not always in the most ethical way, but at least these people are not sitting on their butts waiting for a handout.

No, they're physically accosting pedestrians on the sidewalk and trying to strong-arm them into their place of employment. What sort of twisted parents brought you up to think "there is nothing wrong" with that sort of behavior?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

sfp30:

" Don't you think that the reason these Africans aren't working in "real" jobs in Japan could be related to skin color? "

No, I definitely don´t think so. In my local kombini and at the MacDonalds nearby, they have Chinese and Indians working at the counter, and are always looking for more part timers. The next time you are strong armed by one of these Roppongi gentlemen to come to his topless bar and have some spiked drinks, why don´t you suggest to him that does not need this "desperate" work, instead he can work at the kombini. Please do tell us the reaction!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Don't you think that the reason these Africans aren't working in "real" jobs in Japan could be related to skin color?

I dont think so, I got work in construction a very few were open to me because of the colour of my skin and that I was Gaijin but I got it. There were quite a big number of black african working in it mostly failed businessman. I think these guys set out to Japan with a plan to set up their business and theres nothing wrong with that as long as they pay their taxes.

Larry Woodworth says - Ah yes... the "poor ethnic people are forced into shady activity because they look different" excuse. Sorry, I'm not buying that. These "oh-so-unfortunate" people managed to fly to Japan and find a paying job. These guys were not dressed like homeless people so they're making at least enough for wardrobe upkeep

Well Mr Woodworth I worked in a nightclub in Roppongi for one of the shady activity you so call and the big boss was a man in his 50s who had worked hard in younger years back in his homeland and saved up a lot to pursue his dream in setting up his own business in a foreign land. Mr Woodworth Thank God you were born into a rich country and was white that you didnt have the same experiences that people from the poor ethnic minority go through.Looking different and coming from a 3rd world country is not an excuse Its real because you get treated differently in Japan.

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EmmanuelKantDec. 01, 2014 - 09:35PM JST

You're mistaken if you think the yakuza runs everything with female entertainment staff. I've worked with water trade licensing and permits and while it's true there's often payments here and there involved, they certainly don't run "most places". Additionally large parts of Tokyo today, especially the foreign heavy areas were largely Chinese controlled as of at least the past 15 years. A large number of lower tier clubs are Korean or Chinese operated (and so is Akihabara for that matter). You can perfectly well use this entertainment without getting in trouble, but I'd stay away from anything with one way elevators or foreign "security".

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Magnus, The substantive point was not the particular nationality of the gangs operating vice or 'entertainment' and I used 'yakuza' as a euphemism for 'Mafia' or 'organised crime'. Whether directly managed or subsudizing organised crime 'entertainment' in Tokyo is very much part of the underworld of world of vice. I am grateful however that an informed person has highlighted that 'entertainment' in Japan is of a very Japanese or Asian origin and operational structure, and again, that the suggestion that Africans monopolize and proliferate this industry is laughable. I would however disuade anyone from participating in vice - however benign it seems.

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Paul Laimal-Convoy, you can't pull Japanese girls in Roppongi?! Are you serious? If that is the case, things must have really changed. In the early 90s, Roppongi was ever so easy to pull, especially if you were 6ft etc. And I remember an old Yank telling me: 'Hey man, if you think it's easy now, you should have been here in the early 70s.'

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It's without doubt a very sad issue. My two cents to all this is if I may: Don't ever go "solo" at these places!!

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