Many thanks for your careful suggestions. You've proven the value of peer critique as what I wrote initially made PERFECT sense to me. However, if it doesn't work for a reader, it's time to revise!!!
Prioritizing for a 20 word limit is agonizing.
How about this:
"Two pieces of junk mail send an American Japanese specialist to Tokyo to track down an internationally famous author and his nefarious organization."
I'm staying vague on the organization because it is a figment of the American's imagination inspired by his reading of the author's works. The American believes that the famous author is using the organization (central to one of his novels, and similarly amorphous) to spy on him to gather material for the author's magico-realist novels.
This sounds very good to me, Michael. It's interesting how sometimes just moving words or sentences around can improve things. Nefarious organization now sounds like something to pique an agent's interest. And you've cut down the whole thing very well.
See what other people think. And if you have a chance to get professional feedback on the pitch, that could be very worthwhile.