Police to cooperate in setting up organized crime database

It was announced today that the National Police Agency (NPA) agreed to cooperate with the Japan Security Dealers Association (JSDA) in providing information for a database on organized crime, sharing information on around 38,000 known organized crime members–such as name and age–with the 302 companies belonging to the association. The unprecedented agreement by the police to cooperate was seen as a way to combat organized crime members opening securities accounts. The new system would come into effect next fiscal year at the earliest.

While the system to be used has yet to be decided, the JSDA is hoping to cut down an investigation process that used to take several days into a simple search that can be done instantly. Up until now, the NPA would cooperate with inquiries from the JSDA or individual securities companies, providing certian information on organized crime members. Police have yet to decide how to handle so-called junko seiin, or those who are not officially related to a specific yakuza group but are suspected of having connections.

Last September, banks changed their regulations–no longer allowing organized crime members to open or hold an account–but have yet to set up a database to search for members. Similarly, the JSDA plans to make it obligatory for companies to add such a clause in new and existing account contracts as of July. They too had plans to use a private database to enforce the regulations, but costs proved to be too high.

Says the Mainichi, anti-organized crime laws have made it increasingly difficult for gangs to reap great profits through securities, and a number of groups have begun conspiring with ex-employees of securities companies to do business. Some point to a higher amount of gang activity in emerging markets due to more lax listing standards.

(Info from the Yomiuri and the Mainichi)

The move by the NPA to share part of their undoubtedly broad wealth of information on the yakuza is a good first step. As was addressed at the FCCJ press conference for Fujitsu ex-president Kuniaki Nozoe, although companies are obligated to do research to ensure they are not involved with any “anti-social forces,” police refusal to give up the necessary information officially (as opposed to unofficially) makes the process time consuming and difficult. As regulations against organized crime groups get tighter, the least police could do is make compliance easier. Now there’s the question of what kind of privacy issues will erupt…

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