The End of Goto-Gumi: After several days of turmoil, starting on October 14th, things have settled down. The conclusion to all this is that Goto Tadamasa abandoned any attempt to take his organization solo and made an appearance at the Yamaguchi-gumi headquarters in Kobe to apologize on the 17th or 18th of October. His organization will be split between his two chief executives, Mr. Rachi and Mr. Tsukamoto. Of the two, Mr. Tsukamoto has a slightly better reputation as a human being and someone who upholds “traditional” yakuza values which are supposed to be “helping the weak and taking on the powerful” and “never causing problems to civilians.” Good news for me, since I have a personal interest in all this. Continue reading The End of Goto-gumi/結論は後藤忠政組長の完敗
IMPORTANT UPDATE: As a result of Goto’s birthday party and other factors, including my articles in the Washington Post and the Japanese press–Goto Tadamasa was excommunicated from the Yamaguchi-gumi on the 14th of October, 2008.
NHK, the BBC of Japan, banned from their programming several singers who had taken part in a birthday party (September 17th) for Tadamasa Goto, one of the most powerful bosses in the Yamaguchi-gumi. The ban was made and announced after the weekly newsmagazine, Shukan Shincho wrote an article about the birthday party and those attending. NHK checked with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and the singers before making their decision. Continue reading NHK Bans Yakuza-Backed Enka Singers But Japanese Media Refuses To Name Yakuza Backer
(This is a well-researched article about the women who were forced to work as sexual slaves by the Japanese Army during the second world war. Revisionist Japanese historians would like to deny it ever happened but that does not mean that it didn’t.)
A typical winter scene outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea: Three elderly Korean women, too old and too weak to stand, sit with gloved hands frantically waving butterfly-shaped signs written in Korean: “Apologize to us on your knees.” The air is cold. They and their supporters—nuns, the elderly, the young, and the non-Korean—are bundled in heavy winter coats and woolen caps, noses peeking out over tightly wound scarves. A cane sticks out from below the banner draped across the elderly women’s knees. In Japanese, Korean, and English the banner reads, “Wednesday Demonstration to Solve the Japanese Military Comfort Women Issue.”
On June 8 near Akihabara station, seven people were killed and ten others injured in a random act of violence committed by a troubled young man. The suspect had rented a van, purchased a knife, and driven to Tokyo in order to kill strangers indiscriminately, perhaps to express his unhappiness and desperation.
By Justin McCurry in Tokyo
From the guardian.co.uk
Tuesday August 26 2008
Residents of a city in western Japan this week became the first to turn to the courts for help in ridding their neighbourhood of organised crime, amid fears that they will become the next victims of a violent power struggle.