(English follows the Japanese)
UPDATE: １５日夜、後藤忠政組長の処分が除籍から絶縁処分となりました。もっともしんどい処分です。絶縁の理由は 1. 肝臓移植に関連したFBIとの取引。またはそれを巡る報道と卑怯な行為 2. 演歌歌手などを招待した派手な誕生日会で世間を騒がした3. 仮病を使って幹部会を慢性的欠席4. 後藤組長の率いる組織の部下が堅気などの一般市民を脅したり危害を加えたりして任侠の掟「堅気に迷惑をかけない」を繰り返して破った 5. 山口組執行部の意向を直に受け入れずに「単独組活動をする」などと上層部に挑発しました。
Update 2: October 16th, 2008 (Tokyo time)
The Goto-gumi has separated from the Yamaguchi-gumi and become an independent operation. The question of whether or not the powerful Yamaken-gumi faction of the Yamaguchi-gumi will ally themselves with the new Goto-gumi is something that has yet to be answered. The new Goto-gumi will have about 1,200 members and probably six other Yamaguchi-gumi groups backing them.
The independence of Goto-gumi could possibly break apart the Yamaguchi-gumi, which with 40,000 members, is by far the largest organized crime group in Japan.
I’m trying to report this objectively but since I have a personal grievance against Goto Tadamasa as well as some other issues with the fellow, I apologize if there appears to be an undercurrent of glee in this posting. For more on Goto Tadamasa, see the In The News Section and Crime Resources.
Goto Tadamasa, the leader of the Goto-gumi, (950 + members)—the most violent faction of the Yamaguchi-gumi, was excommunicated from the Yamaguchi-gumi officially on October 14th, after a disciplinary council meeting in Kobe which Goto himself did not attend.
The reasons given for his excommunication were:
the reports on his liver transplant and deals with the FBI that I wrote in the Washington Post and in a Japanese book published in August
his birthday party on September 17th which attracted unwanted media attention and embarrassed the organization, starting with an article in Shukan Shincho (see previous posting. There is only circumstantial evidence suggesting I played a part in those articles)
his failure to attend regular meetings of the ruling council
Goto’s explusion has seen mixed reactions. There is a faction of the Yamaguchi-gumi still loyal to him as are his own people and this has not been taken lightly. There looms the possibility that the decision of the Yamaguchi-gumi, and the acting chief Takayama, may result in a split within the Yamaguchi-gumi or possible gang warfare. We will keep you posted.
Update: On the 15th of October 2008, Goto Tadamasa’s punishment was changed from “excommunication” (joseki) to “banishment” (zetsuen). Banishment (Zetsuen 絶縁）is the harshest administrative punishment that can be dealt to a Yamaguchi-gumi member, since it kicks them out of the organization and declares them an enemy of the group. In addition, anyone who fraternizes or works with someone who has been banished, also risks banishment themselves. The police, the yamaguchi-gumi and the other yakuza groups throughout Japan are all on alert as it seems more and more likely that large-scale gang warfare may break out.
This would be a good time to avoid hotel lobbies, Showa Medical University, and hanging around yakuza offices.