High-rise hookers

AT $240 an hour, these Korean sex workers could have worked off their fines before dinner yesterday, after appearing in a Southport court for illegal prostitution.
The ad identified the sex workers as a 'uni party girl, just 18, Japanese, natural 36D, perfect backside'.
The detectives, part of the Prostitution Enforcement Taskforce, arranged to meet the women for sex at apartments in the Artique and Q1 high-rise towers after responding to a classified advertisement in The Gold Coast Bulletin on February 9.

Korean sushi restaurant

Neo Park, the manager of Furusato, a Korean-owned sushi restaurant in Koreatown, is not concerned about government ratings.
He said his restaurant does just fine with a clientele composed mainly of Koreans, whites and Hispanics.


in a Japanese restaurant owned by Koreans, with a Mexican chef, in an American city, it makes sense that something entirely unique would emerge.

A Korean-American customer, Jeong Park, said Pina's food is the real deal. But as he scanned the tequila list resting on the sushi bar, Park couldn't help but rib his friend: "Are you turning this into a Mexican restaurant, man, or what?"

Americans' growing appetite for sushi helps controversial church

(Chicago Tribune (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) CHICAGO _ On a mission from their leader, five young men arrived in Chicago to open a little fish shop on Elston Avenue.

Back then, in 1980, people of their faith were castigated as "Moonies" and called cult members. Yet the Japanese and American friends worked grueling hours and slept in a communal apartment as they slowly built the foundation of a commercial empire.

They were led by the vision of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the self-proclaimed messiah who sustained their spirits as they played their part in fulfilling the global business plan he had devised.

Moon founded his controversial Unification Church six decades ago with the proclamation that he was asked by Jesus to save humanity. But he also built the empire blending his conservative politics, savvy capitalism and flair for spectacles such as mass weddings in Madison Square Garden.

In a remarkable story that has gone largely untold, Moon and his followers reaped millions of dollars by dominating one of America's trendiest indulgences: sushi.

Today, one of those five Elston Avenue pioneers, Takeshi Yashiro, serves as a top executive of a sprawling conglomerate that supplies much of the raw fish Americans eat.

Adhering to a plan Moon spelled out more than three decades ago in a series of sermons, members of his movement managed to integrate virtually every facet of the highly competitive seafood industry. The Moon followers' seafood operation is driven by a commercial powerhouse, known as True World Group. It builds fleets of boats, runs dozens of distribution centers and, each day, supplies most of the nation's estimated 9,000 sushi restaurants.

Although few seafood lovers may consider they're indirectly supporting Moon's religious movement, they are when they eat a buttery slice of tuna or munch on a morsel of eel in many restaurants. True World is so ubiquitous that 14 of 17 prominent Chicago sushi restaurants surveyed by the Chicago Tribune said they were supplied by the company.

Over the last three decades, as Moon has faced down accusations of brainwashing followers and personally profiting from the church, he and sushi have made similar if unlikely journeys from the fringes of American society to the mainstream.

These parallel paths are not coincidence. They reflect Moon's dream of revitalizing and dominating the American fishing industry while helping to fund his church's activities.

"I have the entire system worked out, starting with boat building," Moon said in "The Way of Tuna," a speech given in 1980. "After we build the boats, we catch the fish and process them for the market, and then have a distribution network. This is not just on the drawing board; I have already done it."

In the same speech, he called himself "king of the ocean." It proved not to be an idle boast. The businesses now employ hundreds, including non-church members, from the frigid waters of the Alaskan coast to the iconic American fishing town of Gloucester, Mass.

Records and interviews with church insiders and competitors trace how Moon and members of his movement carried out his vision.

In a recent interview Rev. Phillip Schanker, a Unification Church vice president, said the seafood businesses were "not organizationally or legally connected" to Moon's church, but were simply "businesses founded by members of the Unification Church."

Schanker compared the relationship to successful business owners _ such as J. Willard "Bill" Marriott, a prominent Mormon who founded the hotel chain that bears his name _ who donate money to their church.

"Marriott supports the Mormon Church but no one who checks into a Marriott Hotel thinks they are dealing with Mormonism," he said.

"In the same way I would hope that every business founded by a member based on inspiration from the Rev. Moon's vision also would be in a position to support the church."


But links between Moon's religious organization and the fish businesses are spelled out in court and government records as well as in statements by Moon and his top church officials. For one thing, Moon personally devised the seafood strategy, helped fund it at its outset and served as a director of one of its earliest companies.

Moon's Unification Church is organized under a tax-exempt non-profit entity called The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. The businesses are controlled by a separate non-profit company called Unification Church International Inc., or UCI.

That company's connections to Moon's Unification Church go deeper than the shared name. A 1978 congressional investigation into Moon's businesses concluded: "It was unclear whether the UCI had any independent functions other than serving as a financial clearinghouse for various Moon organization subsidiaries and projects."

UCI as well as its subsidiaries and affiliates such as True World are run largely by church members, Schanker said. The companies were "founded by church members in line with Rev. Moon's vision," he said. "It's not coincidence."

Sometimes the links are more direct. The boatbuilding firm US Marine Corp. shares its headquarters with the church and lists the church as its majority shareholder, according to corporate records.


A part of True World's profits makes its way to the church through the layers of parent corporations, Yashiro said, adding: "We live to serve others, and this is how we serve by building a strong business."

Moon predicted in 1974 that the fishing business would "lay a foundation for the future economy of the Unification Church." In fact, while Moon and businesses affiliated with him reportedly have poured millions of dollars into money-losing ventures including The Washington Times newspaper, the seafood ventures have created a profit-making infrastructure that could last _ and help support the church _ long after the 86-year-old Moon is gone.

Much of the foundation for that success has its roots in Chicago.

True World Foods, Yashiro's wholesale fish distribution business spawned near Lawrence and Elston avenues, now operates from a 30,000-square-foot complex in Elk Grove Village.

The company says it supplies hundreds of local sushi and fine-dining establishments. Even many who might have religious reservations about buying from the company do so for one simple reason: It dependably delivers high-quality sushi.

"We try not to think of the religion part," said Haruko Imamura, who with her husband runs Katsu on West Peterson Avenue. "We don't agree with their religion but it's nothing to do with the business."

Like Moon himself, who served a 13-month prison sentence for tax fraud in the 1980s, the seafood companies have at times run afoul of U.S. laws.

In June 2001, True World Foods' Kodiak, Alaska, fish processing company pleaded guilty to a federal felony for accepting a load of pollock that exceeded the boat's 300,000-pound trip limit. The firm was fined $150,000 and put on probation for five years under a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The company also has run afoul of the Food and Drug Administration. Last year, after repeated FDA inspections found "gross unsanitary conditions" at True World's suburban Detroit plant, the facility manager tried to bar inspectors from production areas and refused to provide records, according to an FDA report. The plant manager told the inspectors that his True World supervisor was "a great man, that he was a part of a new religion, and that if we took advantage of him, then `God help you!'''

Later, according to that FDA report, an employee wearing a ski mask approached one female inspector, put his thumb and forefinger in the shape of a gun, pointed at her and said: "You're out of uniform. Pow!"

Saying they had been "hindered, intimidated and threatened," the FDA inspectors took the unusual step of securing a court order compelling True World to let them inspect the facility. Yashiro, chief executive of True World Foods, said in a written statement that the "isolated instance ... arose from a miscommunication." The plant is now closed; Yashiro said its operations were consolidated into the Elk Grove Village plant in January, adding: "We maintain the highest standards of food safety."


In the late 1970s, Moon laid out a plan to build seafood operations in all 50 states as part of what he called "the oceanic providence."

This dream of harvesting the sea would help fund the church, feed the world and save the American fishing industry, Moon said.

He even suggested that the church's mass weddings could play a role in the business plan by making American citizens out of Japanese members of the movement. This would help them avoid fishing restrictions applied to foreigners.

"A few years ago the American government set up a 200-mile limit for offshore fishing by foreign boats," Moon said in the 1980 "Way of Tuna" sermon. But by marrying Japanese members to Americans, "we are not foreigners; therefore Japanese brothers, particularly those matched to Americans, are becoming ... leaders for fishing and distribution" of his movement's businesses.

Sushi's popularity had flowered enough by 1986 for Moon to gloat that Americans who once thought Japanese were "just like animals, eating raw fish," were now "paying a great deal of money, eating at expensive sushi restaurants." He recommended that his flock open "1,000 restaurants" in America.

In fashioning a chain of businesses that would stretch from the ocean to restaurant tables across America, Moon and his followers created a structure uniquely able to capitalize on the nation's growing appetite for sushi and fresh fish.

Some of the business start-up funds came from the Unification Church. In a seven-month period from October 1976 to May 1977, Moon signed some of the nearly $1 million in checks used to establish the fishing business, according to a 1978 congressional report on allegations of improprieties by Moon's church.

After acquiring an ailing boatmaking operation, Master Marine, Moon and his followers turned their attention to establishing the next link in the network. Church members who saw fishing as their calling took to the seas, many powered by Master Marine boats. Moon's Ocean Church would bring together members and potential converts for 40-day tuna fishing trips every summer in 80 boats he bought for his followers.

Many of the tournaments took place off the coast of Gloucester, Mass., by no coincidence one of the first homes to a church-affiliated seafood processing plant. Moon proudly declared in his "Way of Tuna" speech that "Gloucester is almost a Moonie town now!" (The church has since rejected the term Moonies as derogatory.)


Sometimes working surreptitiously, Moon affiliates and followers bought large chunks of the key fishing towns _ in each case sparking anger and suspicion from longtime residents.

Moon's enthusiasm aside, the church and its members created an uproar when they bought a villa that had been a retirement home run by Roman Catholic nuns. Moon was hanged in effigy in the local harbor.

Eventually, such resistance withered away. In Bayou La Batre, La., Russell Steiner was among community leaders who clashed with the newcomers. But like many in the town, Steiner has mellowed considerably since the church's arrival. "They have been very active in the community and are very nice people, actually," he said.

The Alabama shrimp business is among the largest in the Gulf of Mexico, and the nearby boatbuilding plant has not only built more than 300 boats, but also done repairs on the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy ships, according to federal documents.

And the fish businesses have thrived. Company officials say the wholesale distribution arm, True World Foods, had revenue of $250 million last year.

According to True World Foods, its fleet of 230 refrigerated trucks delivers raw fish to 7,000 sushi and fine-dining restaurants nationwide. Dozens of those trucks leave each day from the Elk Grove Village warehouse, one of 22 distribution facilities around the country.

True World Foods' Alaska plant processes more than 20 million pounds of salmon, cod and pollock each year, the company says. Its International Lobster operation in Gloucester ships monkfish and lobster around the world from a 25,000-square-foot cold storage facility that is among the largest on the East Coast.

And it is again in an expansionist mood. True World recently opened up shop in England and established offices in Japan and Korea, setting its sights on the world's biggest market for sushi.


When Takeshi Yashiro arrived in Chicago in 1980 to help set up one of the earliest outposts of the fishing empire, the area had just a handful of sushi joints. That number has ballooned to more than 200 restaurants statewide, and Yashiro's fish house has flourished.

The son of an Episcopalian Japanese minister, he immigrated to the U.S. and joined the church as a student in San Francisco. On July 1, 1982, Moon blessed Yashiro and his bride along with more than 2,000 other couples in one of his mass wedding ceremonies, in New York City's Madison Square Garden.

The Rainbow Fish House that Yashiro and fellow church members founded on Chicago's Northwest Side has become not only the city's dominant sushi supplier but also the nation's. The fish house became True World Foods, which buys so much tuna from around the world that it has seven people in Chicago solely dedicated to sourcing and pricing the best grades.

One of True World's advantages is that its sales force speaks Chinese, Korean and Japanese, making it easy for first-generation ethnic restaurant owners to do business with them.

"It's kind of tough to compete in this industry with a company that is so global, has a major presence in almost every market and that is driven by religious fervor," said Bill Dugan, who has been in the fish business for almost 30 years and owns the Fish Guy Market on Elston Avenue, near the original Rainbow shop. "We should all be so blessed."

But not all of True World's employees are church members. Tuna buyer Eddie Lin recently left True World for Fortune Fish Co., a local rival. Lin said his former workplace was not overtly religious, but he added that as a non-church member he felt his ability to advance was limited. "You can feel the difference between the way they see members and non-members," Lin said.


While disputing such assertions, Yashiro noted that new employees "have to know that the founder is the founder of the Unification Church. ... It's a very clear distinction between joining the church or not joining the church. There's no discrimination, but I think our culture is definitely based on our faith."

It's that faith that makes some uneasy. Wang Kim, a Chicago-area youth ministry director and Moon critic, was certain he could find local Korean Christian sushi restaurateurs who didn't use True World because they might consider his views heretical. As Kim said, Moon "says that he is the Messiah, and we hate that."

But Kim called back empty-handed. "I checked with several of my friends," he said, "and they know it is from Moon but they have to use (them because) they have to give quality to their customers."

The sheer success of the venture has left lingering questions even in the minds of Moon's dedicated followers. Yashiro, the Chicago pioneer who now heads True World Foods, remembers dedicating his career and life 26 years ago to achieving Moon's dream, which included solving world hunger.

But that part of Moon's grand vision has yet to materialize. "I was wondering if we are really here to solve the world's hunger," Yashiro said. "Every day I ... pray on it."

He still hopes True World Foods eventually will help end hunger. But until then, he said, his role will be to grow the business and make money.

Osaka Express, a Korean massage parlor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, march 2, 2006
Five women were arrested on sex and drug charges after their Korean massage parlor was raided in Maryland 12 years ago.
The case was closed three years later because the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute, said FBI Special Agent Michelle Crnkovich in Baltimore.

Now, one of the women from that raid more than a decade ago has resurfaced in Schererville and is being charged with nearly identical offenses in Hammond’s federal court.

The woman, Sun Cha Mack, used the name Sun Cha Thompson
when she was allegedly working in Maryland at Osaka Express, a Korean massage parlor where police said sex was being sold.


Deportation sought for couple in West Toledo
According to the government, Dae Jung and his wife have been living in the United States illegally since 1996.

Eventually, he began working at Kotobuki restaurant, becoming a sushi chef. The restaurant asked the U.S. Department of Labor for permission to hire Mr. Jung. On Aug. 14, 2000, he was issued a certificate allowing him to work - a sort of first step toward a green card, his attorneys said. Believing his paperwork problems were behind him, Mr. Jung has worked at the restaurant since that time.

Dennis Chung, owner of Kotubuki, said he has entrusted Mr. Jung to operate the sushi bar, by himself, at the downtown Navy Bistro's wine bar.

Koreans Pose as Japanese for $500 Per Month

Sushi restaurants and bars are extremely popular in the Russian capital, Moscow. However, when people go to these eateries they may think that waiters in Japanese restaurants have nothing to do with Japan. As it turns out, waiters working in Moscow sushi restaurants are in fact Koreans posing as Japanese.
Russian on-line source, Regions.ru, informs with reference to reliable sources that these waiters are Koreans who work as Japanese in the Russian sushi bars. Restaurant owners recruit Koreans in the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria where the former come in search of jobs.

Koreans posing as Japanese waiters in Moscow sushi bars are paid 500-1000 USD per month. Certainly, the Asian appearance is not the only thing Koreans need to work in the sushi bars; they must also know how to prepare and serve sushi. Journalists are dispelling another myth about sushi: contrary to the myth saying that it takes many years to learn how to prepare raw fish with rice properly, any Korean arriving in Moscow can master it within a period of one week to a month.

Managers in sushi restaurants say that “accurate eyes and rapid response” that’s what Koreans need to work as Japanese.


The Aum Cult, the Cult of Poison Gas

The Japanese weekly press (the weeklies are Japan's sole bastion of
crusading and every-so-often reckless journalism) has been filled
with speculation about Aum's connection to the South Korean
Unification Church--the Moonies, which itself has long had strong
ties, even its origins, in the Korean CIA. This same speculation has
extended beyond the pulpy pages of the weeklies. Last week,
journalist Takashi Tachibana asserted the Moonie-Aum connection
in a TV interview, as well as widespread links between Aum and
prominent politicians.

Tachibana didn't cite any evidence, but he does have his credibility
to ride on. He's the journalist whose revelations played a leading
role in bringing down the government of Lockheed-scandal-
connected Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka.

One weekly reported that Asahara's own father is Korean. The
conservative daily press and TV won't touch that one, for fear of
stirring up anti-Korean resentment and, possibly, alienating the
South Korean government which Japan has recently been bending
over backwards to befriend. It was reported that, when the
crackdown on Aum began, the cult gave some of its assets to
another, unnamed religious organization for safekeeping. The
Moonies, perhaps?


SEATTLE, Washington, Nov 13 (AFP) - A US restaurant that boasts a house special of sushi served on a naked woman has sparked furious protests by Asian women's groups,
but eager diners are jostling for seats.
The unconventional diner boasts a sushi buffet eaten off the torsos of young female models who recline on a tall table surrounded by sprinkled rose petals, votive candles,
and pots of wasabi, shoyu and pickled ginger.
But while the novel serving suggestion from Bonzai Asian Pub and Bistro in the northwestern US city of Seattle appears to have pleased male gourmets, it has incensed women's groups.

Bonzai chef and owner Jun Hong, a Korean-American, claims he's helping to popularize Japanese and Asian culture to people who may never have been exposed to it.

Controversy over naked sushi in Seattle
Whatever the case, the controversy over the Bonzai nightclub serving sushi on nearly naked women isn't about to fade anytime soon.
Chef and owner Jun Hong, a Korean-American,

On Naming Practices among Young Koreans in Japan1

Yasunori Fukuoka (Saitama University, Japan

Court told of fatal beating at Columbus Academy

Nozomu Shinozaki, a 22-year-old student, died after a three-hour beating by nine fellow Japanese at the West Auckland Columbus Academy, a depositions hearing in the North Shore District Court was told yesterday.
The nine, aged between 17 and 26, face charges of murdering Mr Shinozaki on February 26. They also face charges of assault and kidnapping.

The director of the academy, Katsuo Kanamori, also known as Soon Keuk Kim, is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Joji Obara

(Kim Sung Jong)
Monday, 25 July, 2005

Medias do not mention his ethnic background.

August 17, 2005 How the bubble burst for Lucie's alleged killer
Richard Lloyd Parry
THROUGHOUT his strange life, and the various identities that he created for himself, Joji Obara fled from cameras;
He was born Kim Sung Jong in 1952 to Korean parents in Osaka. His father was a poor immigrant who built himself a fortune in taxis, property and pachinko, the addictive Japanese version of bagatelle.
At 15, Kim Sung Jong was sent to the preparatory school for the private and prestigious Keio University in Tokyo. There he studied politics and law.
It was at this time that he underwent surgery on his eyes to make them larger and less oriental, and he took on a new,
Japanese name, Seisho Hoshiyama.

He’s very, very clever but very selfish, totally convinced that he is right,
and he never listens to the opinions of other people.

According to the prosecution, he took her to his bedroom, removed her trousers and underwear,
and raped her in front of his video camera; Obara appeared in many of the videos naked, or wearing a Zorro mask.

Lucie's father goes back to Japan
Businessman Joji Abara, 52, went on trial in November 2003 but denies having any involvement in the killing.

Mon Jul 18 21:21
An Isle of Wight man, the father of murdered hostess Lucie Blackman, was today launching a charitable trust in honour of his daughter to help protect young people.

The official launch is being backed by Steve Harley, who is staging a charity concert on the Isle of Wight to raise funds for the Trust on July 22.

Ms Blackman was killed during an alleged date rape in Tokyo, Japan, and
★★shortly after the concert Mr Blackman and his daughter Sophie will head for Tokyo to see the man charged in connection with her death questioned in court by public prosecutors.

Death of a Hostess
MAY 14, 2001,
Lucie Blackman's tragic tale has riveted Japan, becoming a cause for national soul-searching and a parable for the country's post-bubble malaise

Joji Obara was born in 1952 to an impoverished Korean family in postwar Osaka. His father had been a scrap collector, then a taxi driver who worked his way into owning a fleet of cars and a string of pachinko parlors from which he amassed a fortune. Perhaps mindful of the discrimination faced by Koreans, when the young Obara then known by his Korean name Kim as asked to pen a farewell sentiment in his junior-high class yearbook, he wrote: "Upbringing is more important than family name."

At 15 he was accepted into Japan's most 駘ite high school, a Yokohoma prep school affiliated with prestigious Keio University. To facilitate Obara's entry to the school his father purchased the Den'en Chofu mansion and sent the boy to live there with a maid. When Obara was 17, his father died, leaving holdings in Tokyo and Osaka to his son.

By 1981 Obara had graduated from Keio University (alma mater of newly elected Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi) with degrees in politics and law, become a naturalized Japanese citizen and legally changed his name to Obara. Once he had expunged his Korean lineage, Obara, with his wealth and his educational background, could have entered the nation's ruling 駘ite, becoming, perhaps, a top bureaucrat or corporate chieftain. Instead he became a man of his times, leading a desultory, undistinguished existence, punctuated by his disastrous forays into real estate speculation. He formed an investment company, Plant, in 1988, relatively late in the bubble cycle. When the economy collapsed, nearly taking Obara's assets with it, his mother, who still controlled the lucrative pachinko operations, helped bail her son out, at one point paying off a creditor nearly $33 million in cash. Following these business failings, Obara's company reportedly became a front for the Sumiyoshi yakuza傭randed Japan's second-largest organized crime syndicate by the national police謡ho kept him afloat by employing him as a straw man for their money-laundering operations.

Obara hid from cameras his entire life. Few photos of him have been unearthed other than a grainy 1970s shot. Former employees at his real estate company say he forbade them to take pictures of him. During the day he invariably wore sunglasses. Cell phone records obtained by police after his arrest indicate he had become a nocturnal creature, making most of his phone calls between sundown and sunrise while he restlessly cruised between his seacoast apartments and central Tokyo residences.

Parry helped Obara to bribe Mr Blackman

As The Times revealed in March, agents acting for Mr Obara offered about £200,000 to the parents of Miss Blackman and Carita Ridgway,
his alleged Australian victim. All refused, until it emerged that Mr Blackman visited Tokyo last week to accept a far larger sum.
















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