54. Lawyers

As I make my way through the heavy doors of the Consulate with nothing but that lousy 24-page Guidelines for Americans Arrested in JapanI can’t help but feel let down. I don’t know what I was expecting. Diplomatic sanctuary, perhaps? The Cavalry riding in to save the day?

At least Ms. Satō has provided me with a list of lawyers. Once outside the Consulate, I start skimming through the list. The names are given alphabetically: Abé, Adachi, Baba, Eguchi, Kōga, Moriyama, Nakano, and so on. Each lawyer’s alma mater, areas of specialty, and English proficiency are also listed.

I happen to know the Abé at the top of the list. She is an attractive, competent lawyer in her mid-thirties who helped me get the ball moving with my divorce two years ago. Although she is someone I can confide in, I eliminate her because she doesn’t have any experience with criminal law or narcotics. Not many on the list do. This isn’t America, after all.

Second on the list is a Mr. Adachi. Much older than Abé, judging by the date of his graduation, Adachi is one of the few who has apparently worked on cases dealing with drugs. The clincher, however, is the address of his law practice: it is only a short walk from my apartment. I hop on my girlfriend’s bicycle and head straight for it.