When I was in Japan for a year in 1983, all people could talk about was AIDS and the "Miura Jiken," or Miura Incident. Two years earlier, a Japanese man, Kazuyoshi Miura, and his wife had been visiting L.A. when two gunman shot them in a shady part of town. Kazuyoshi only suffered a minor leg wound, while the wife had been hit in the head. She was in a coma until she finally died in Japan. "Rosu (Los Angeles) dangerous" was the general message that spread over Japan, thanks to Miura's denunciation of our criminal society.
But then slowly Miura's story began to unravel. There was a large life insurance policy on the wife. A mistress, a porn star, came forward. Miura was eventually found guilty in Japan but the case was eventually overturned and appealed because an accomplice was not convicted of the crime. (Yeah, I don't get it either.)
A Japanese American detective, Jimmy Sakoda, the former head of the LAPD's Asian Task Force, had been dogged in trying to prosecute Miura. I remember that he authored a book on the Miura Jiken that had been published in Japan
This past weekend when I was in Phoenix I read a little blurb that Miura had been arrested in Saipan, a U.S. territory, and was being extradited to the U.S. (In California, due to a new law in 2004, a suspect can be tried in the state despite being prosecuted for the same crime in a foreign country--no double jeopardy applies.) I was mystified. Twenty years had passed. Who in the LAPD or District Attorney's Office was still following Miura?
Well, according to an L.A. Times article today, Miura had reported his plans to travel to Saipan--on his blog. And who should be reading it but Jimmy Sakoda, now retired!