Fukuoka prefectural police requested March 25 that convenience stores in the prefecture no longer stock yakuza fan magazines. Four chains have already begun removing the products from their racks, while two more say they will do so beginning next month.The stores include Lawson, Family Mart, Mini Stop, Popular, Daily Yamazaki and Circle K Sankus.
According to police, a crime prevention group requested in December 2009 that convenience stores and book stores stop carrying the publications, citing that several monthly magazines “glamorize organized crime and may encourage youth to join the groups.”
Officials insist they do not intend to censor freedom of expression, and that the move is purely voluntary. Some warn, however, that the move opens the door for possible censorship in the future.