There was a brief time after the earthquake when Japan welcomed the yakuza and they welcomed the victims with whatever aid they could provide. As time passes most of them (the yakuza) go back to doing what they really do to make a living: blackmailing, extorting, threatening and defrauding the general populace of their money and engaging in whatever crime they can get away with.
It is difficult to say whether the wabori Japanese traditional tattoo (入れ墨） hurts more or less than the electric needle tattoo. Pain is like tickle, it is not a feeling that you can measure. You can measure the weight of a person, for example, but you cannot measure pain. Some people say they are afraid of the electric sound of the needle.
Hello Kitty, yakuza working in the nuclear industry, coffee and cigarettes, 2012 was a year chock full of news. Here are some of our favorite stories we ran in 2012.
Because of Japan’s personal privacy protection laws, created by the LDP to discourage magazine reporters for writing about their scandals and organized crime ties, I’m limited in what I can post here for readers who would like to know more about the Japanese ruling coalition and its ties to the underworld–but here are some useful items.
This week Kazuo aka Kazuya Uchibori, the de facto head of the Inagawa-kai, Japan’s 3rd largest organized crime group, turned himself into the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. He was wanted on charges of fraud and money laundering charges. This may be the first case in which the payment of association dues (上納金/jonokin) is prosecuted successfully as [...]
To give you an idea of the scale of organized crime front companies in Japan, in Tokyo alone, there were over 1,000 at the end of 2010. And those are simply the ones that the police were able to identify. If you include new venture companies that were bankrolled by the yakuza behind the scenes, the numbers go even higher. A noted economist once called the yakuza Japan’s second largest private equity group. It makes sense.
In post-war Japan, people would sign a life insurance contract. And go straight out, and kill themselves under the nearest train. Eventually, the life insurance companies started putting in one-year exemption clauses in their policies, so people would sign a contract and they must wait one year before killing themselves to get the money. It was still a very good deal for desperate people, so the suicide rate spiked on the thirteenth month. The insurance companies extended the exemption period to two years. The result was that suicides spiked on the twenty-fifth month of the contract.
On July 26th 2012, the National Diet approved the revisions of the Organized Crime Group Countermeasures Law (改正暴力団対策法). Under the new laws, the police can specially designate organized crime groups as “extremely dangerous” and then may arrest any member of that group, without issuing a cease and desist order, if he (or she), makes unreasonable [...]
“The Inagawa-kai is a yakuza group and our family motto is one word 我慢 (gaman/endurance). This is a time when that motto is very important–in the face of a rain of falling spears or radioactive fall-out. We did our best to protect the people in our local turf. We looked out for the victims and the refugees, without fanfare, as best we could.”
Portions of this article were previously posted on The Atlantic Wire and have been updated. After the arrest of a yakuza boss for his alleged role in supplying workers to TEPCO’s Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Plant, we are learning the details of how Japan’s nuclear industry relied on organized crime. Since July of last year, a few months after [...]