Yakuza bosses and soliders falling like dominos; cold cases heating up

Japanese police made their third big arrest in as many weeks today, snagging a 27-year-old ex-Goto-gumi member on possible murder charges. Nobuyuki Yamamoto is suspected of stabbing to death Kazuoki Nozaki, an executive from a real estate management company, in Minato Ward in March 2006. The company had reportedly run into trouble with the Goto-gumi involving a piece of Shibuya property where one of the gang’s front companies was housed, and Nozaki has in charge of the court case. Police hope Yamamoto’s arrest will lead to details of involvement other Goto-gumi members had in the incident. (Japanese report here)

This is the third high-profile arrest police have carried out in the past month. On November 18, Yamaguchi-gumi second in command Kiyoshi Takayama was picked up in Kobe on charges of extortion. At the beginning of this month, the Yamaguchi-gumi’s number three bigwig Tadashi Irie was arrested in Osaka, under suspicion of having paid living expenses to the families of a Yamaguchi-gumi hitman. It’s common for organized crime groups to take care of the families of members serving time for gang related activity. It was also made illegal in 2008 to do so. The arrest of Takayama and Irie have dealt a serious blow to the Yamaguchi-gumi. If Takayama was the guts of the organization, Irie was the brains behind it–the successor to Masaru Takumi, who is considered the father of the economic yakuza. Irie is considered the brightest and most financially savvy of the gang leadership and his arrest will impact severely on the group.

8 thoughts on “Yakuza bosses and soliders falling like dominos; cold cases heating up”

  1. It is my prayer one day that the 95% of yakuza who are here are hunted and killed or incarcerated like the cancer they are on an otherwise peaceful and benevolent society. The other 5% could hopefully be trained into some other trade.

  2. @EHJ – I’m an unabashed atheist. And a pragmatist. A cancer such as the mafia deserves no respect and I don’t consider them human.

    1. Johan,
      I’m an agnositc. The mafia are a cancer in general but I would have to reluctantly admit that amongst the yakuza there are some good people. And honorable men. Baffles me but its true.

  3. “It’s common for organized crime groups to take care of the families of members serving time for gang related activity. It was also made illegal in 2008 to do so.”

    Sorry but this is some ridiculous BS.

    1. I’m not sure what’s BS about it, but please expound. The Yamaguchigumi has an in-house welfare program and retirement pay system that dates back to the Ichiwakai conflict. Typically, if you go to jail for the organization, they take care of your family and/or common law wife until you get out. There’s also a cash bonus when you get out of jail. Revisions to the Organized Crime Control laws in 2008 (楚組織犯罪対策関連法)tried to discourage this practice by making it a crime to make such payments. The law works like this: first you get a warning and if you violate it, then its a criminal offense. In the case of Irie-(takumigumi-kumicho), his group made cash payments to the family of one of their hit-men who was in jail for a counter-strike after the Nakanokai killed the leader of Takumugumi, Takumi Masaru. According to the police, even after he was warned to stop making cash payments and taking care of their member’s family, he continued to do so and was arrested for those violations. In the yakuza sense of things, Irie-kumicho was doing the right thing, the honorable thing.

  4. I just finished reading Tokyo Vice. I paid top-dollar for it at the airport bookstore and worth every penny. Clear your calendar and fasten your seatbelt. I ran a company in Japan for 3 years back in the 90’s and thought I knew a lot. This should be required reading for every English teacher-hostess-international business wannabe. Don’t be deceived by the polite veneer of the culture~ dark forces at work at all hours!

    1. Thank for letting me know that it’s even sold in airport bookstores and paying full retail price. Japan may be the land of the rising sun but when it sets, it’s a very dark place.

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