Category Archives: News

Drugs discovered inside snack packages at Inagawa-kai member's condo

A member of the Inagawa-kai was arrested for possession of stimulants and cannabis after being discovered carrying 19.5 grams of stimulants and 29 grams of marijuana on his person July 7. A search of the man’s Fujisawa condo revealed 60 grams of stimulants (estimated to be worth 5.4 million yen), 775 grams of dried cannabis (estimated to be worth 4.7 million yen), and 1,500 syringes. Some of the stimulants in the condo were discovered in canistesr of potato chips that had been given false bottoms.

The 36-year-old gang member gave a vague testimony that he had purchased the drugs from an associate, and investigators are currently trying to discover details as to where they were sourced from. Police believe the suspect had been selling drugs out of the apartment and in a nearby restaurant parking lot since March.

Read the original article here.

Kindergarten teacher arrested for taking photos of student

It was announced that a kindergarten teacher has been arrested in Higashi-Murayama city for indecent assault and creating child pornography. The 28-year-old male teacher reportedly molested a fourth-year student in a classroom at the elementary school he worked at last April, then this past January brought the boy home and took photos of him with a digital camera. The man, who is already being prosecuted for the child pornography charges, testified that he committed the crimes “because the boy was cute.”

Read the original article here.

One Piece voice actor arrested for obscene photos

Voice actor for the popular anime One Piece, Norio Imamura, was arrested July 12 for displaying photos of the lower half of his body on his blog. According to police, Imamura had spent between four and five million yen on tattoos over the past decade, and posted four photos of them that have been deemed obscene on his blog between April 26 and June 17. The actor reportedly testified, “They’re almost finished and I wanted to show them off to everyone.”

Along with voicing the character Emporio Ivankov on One Piece, Imamura is also active as a stage actor and runs a bar for tattoo enthusiasts in Shinjuku Ni-chome named “Bar Toh.”

Read the original story here.

License-less Yamaguchi-gumi tattoo artist arrested

A traditional tattoo artist, or horishi, was arrested July 10 for accepting money for tattoos without the proper medical license under violation of the medical practitioner’s law. The 36-year-old Hyogo-based horishi–who is believed to be a member of the Yamaguchi-gumi–reportedly admits to charges of giving two acquaintances tattoos at his home between May and August 2009 and accepting a total of ¥10,000 for the work. The tattoo artist had previously been indicted on charges of inflicting bodily injury.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, to put color into skin using tattooing techniques qualifies as a medical procedure, and accepting money without the proper licensing is prohibited by law. This is the first case in Japan of a tattoo artist being arrested for violation of the laws.

Read the original story here.

Kyoto yakuza arrested for attacking unmarked cop car

Officers in an unmarked police car ran into unexpected trouble June 8 when they were approached and harassed by three members of the Kyoto-based Aizukotetsu-kai, who believed the car belonged to a rival gang. According to reports, the officers were on patrol in a black sedan, and the 47-year-old kumicho and his two underlings were suspicious of the car when it repeatedly drove past the same spot a number of times. After chasing the car down, the three gang members began kicking the door and trying to pull the police sergeant out of the driver’s seat. When they saw the officers’ badges the yakuza stopped suddenly and mumbled that they had made a mistake, a shocked acknowledgement that didn’t prevent them from being arrested under the “Act on Punishment of Physical Violence and Others.”

Read the original story here.

Serial groper takes a tumble with victim

An Asaka city man was arrested after groping a female university student in the stairwell of her apartment building just after midnight on June 5. The 37-year-old man suddenly grabbed the student and began touching her, then the pair suddenly tripped and fell down a flight of stairs. According to police, the man admitted he had done wrong when questioned after the incident, but the woman could not be found and he was eventually released. The man was later arrested after the student submitted a complaint, testifying that he had committed similar acts several times in the past.

Read the original article here.

Tokyo committee aims towards establishing new anti-OG laws

July 5 saw the first session of a new committee of specialists set up by police with the aim of establishing new anti-organized crime laws. Authorities plan to hold another session at the end of this month and one more in September, ultimately proposing the new laws to the Tokyo Assembly next year.

Members of the committee include Tokyo Metropolitan University Law School professor and chairman Masahide Maeda, Adachi-ku mayor Yayoi Kondo, Gakushuin University professor Keiko Sakurai, and other lawyers and experts in organized crime and civil affairs.

At the start of the meeting, head of the anti-organized crime division Tetsuya Mori talked about how front companies run by organized crime groups threaten the safety of private citizens, and how he hoped the implementation of more effective laws would help protect Tokyo locals. Maeda said he hoped Tokyo would become a model for the eradication of organized crime.

Read the original article here.

Anticlimactic weekly roundup

Excuse us for the lull, but it was the sunniest Golden Week in 25 years, and while Jake was out doing the rounds in New England and soaking up more juicy content for a future report, the JSRC base back in Japan was getting our fill of vitamin D for the spring.

As the rest of the country was on vacation during the first half of the week, there was not a lot to be missed. And with the DOW and Greece pulling unforseen tricks out of their sleeves, the latter half will likely be spent avidly watching exchange rates and reading financial news.

Some tidbits:

The Financial Times drummed up some coverage on love hotel funds (perhaps spurred by the same weekly article we were), with super special obligatory commentary by foreign loveho tycoon Steve Mansfield.

In guffaw-worthy yakuza news, two Yamaguchi-gumi-affiliated Shouyuu-kai gang members were arrested Thursday for selling fake Viagra. Police say that the pair sold about 100 million yen of the stuff to around 7,000 wishful guys, and were outsted out by another group of three men who were arrested for the same crime in February.

A 63-year-old Yamaguchi-gumi boss is on the run after police issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of fraud and attempted fraud. The gangster rented a room in a municipal housing complex for two months under someone else’s name in order to take advantage of reduced rent for low-income earners. The boss weasled out of paying a total of 28,200 yen, and police suspect he may be involved in a conspiracy with two other rooms.

The manager of a delivery health shop in Gotanda went for a run himself and ended up with a broken foot during a robbery on Tuesday. He and a fellow employee were running from a man armed with a knife who had entered the shop late that night. The manager jumped through a window in an A-Team-worthy escape but broke his left foot when he landed. The robber got away without any cash.

And finally a video: “Yakuza’s Attempt at 早口言葉: Tounge-twisters in Kansai Dialect” (via @AdySan)

Not a good week for the big guys

The stolen Peko-chan mascots, from the Sankei News site
The stolen Peko-chan mascots, from the Sankei News site

In unusual yakuza-related news, April 23 saw the sentencing of an ex-Yamaguchi-gumi higher up for a crime that’s worth a chuckle. According to Sankei News, You Inaba, 43, was sentenced to six years in jail for stealing 10 “Peko-chan” statues from Fujiya stores between May 2008 and February 2009 in Wakayama, Osaka and other cities. When laying down the charges, prosecutors said that Inaba “has had a huge effect on society because of the character’s position as a national icon.” Inaba testified that he stole the small statues with plans to sell them to get money for “drugs and entertainment.” The dolls are estimated to be worth a total of ¥590,000. Business must have been slow…

Meanwhile, here in the Kanto area, FNN reports that four Inagawa-kai bosses were arrested for threatening a ramen cart owner for shobadai, or protection money, near Tokyo station in December of last year. The four testified that the cart owner had a bad attitude, and that they demanded ¥20,000 from him while yelling, “Don’t make fun of the yakuza!”

Japan author sues police over ban on 'yakuza' publications

Now that April Fool’s Day is finished (at least here in Japan), we can actually post some real news! Related to the article last week about convenience stores in Fukuoka agreeing to take yakuza fan publications off their shelves, one man in the industry has now taken action against the move, calling it censorship and complaining that it hurts his income:

Japan author sues police over ban on ‘yakuza’ publications

TOKYO: A Japanese author and son of a Yakuza gangster on Thursday filed a lawsuit against police in the country’s west for asking stores to take underworld comics and magazines off their shelves.

Crime writer Manabu Miyazaki argued that police in Fukuoka prefecture were suppressing free speech by asking stores not to sell manga comic books and magazines that describe the Japanese crime syndicates.

“I am an author,” the 64-year-old protested on his website. “I make money by writing and selling books.”

In his complaint with the Fukuoka District Court, Miyazaki said police had asked convenience stores to remove 73 comic books and three magazine titles from their shelves, and that many shops had following suit.

The police request meant to enforce an ordinance aimed at curtailing the influence of the yakuza, whose organisations are not banned under Japanese law and whose exploits are often the subject of manga comics and fan magazines.

The police list included a comic book based on a Miyazaki novel about the life of a yakuza man, said the author, who demanded 5.5 million yen (about 59,000 dollars) in damages from the regional government.

An officer at the Fukuoka police said they were aware of Miyazaki’s lawsuit but could not immediately comment on it.

Japan’s yakuza, whose members are known for cutting off their little fingers to atone for acts of disloyalty and mistakes, have long been active in gambling, loan sharking and money-laundering.

In April 2007, a gangster associated with Japan’s largest criminal syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, shot dead the mayor of the city of Nagasaki. — AFP

His argument is akin to artists complaining that their albums aren’t sold at Walmart because of questionable material, and at the end of the day the “censorship” is voluntary so it’s debatable whether he has any footing at all. What I found most questionable was the article itself–even to introduce the yakuza to people who have no background knowledge about them, AFP could have done a little better than the last two sentences.

Click here to see the article on Yahoo! News.