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In Tokyo, Komatsu-gumi head arrested for extortion; Yamaguchi Kodo-kai Nearing Decimation


Jan 29, 2011

Police arrested the head of the Yamaguchi-gumi Kodo-kai-affiliated Komatsu-gumi on January 29 under suspicion of attempted blackmail after he reportedly tried to extort money out of a company executive. Police also raided the organisation’s office. It was another major blow to the Kodo-kai who has seen their numbers cut significantly in the last year and four months. The mass arrests of organization members and crackdowns on affiliated entities has made many leave the group and supporters pull back.

According to police, 56-year-old Kazuo Shiina holds executive ranking within the Kodo-kai, an organisation central to the giant Yamaguchi-gumi, and is in charge of the Tokyo area. Authorities say Shiina tried to twice extort a Saitama-based company executive out of 50 million yen after the man couldn’t pay back a loan from the organization.

Other senior members of the Yamaguchi-gumi Kodokai in Tokyo have been arrested in the last few weeks. The organization itself has dwindled from 4,000 down to nearly a 1,000 after an extensive crackdown by the National Police Agency which began in September of 2009 under the direction of National Police Agency chief, Ando Takaharu.

On January 26th, the National Police Agency (NPA) held a meeting of all organized crime control bureau chiefs from police departments in Japan. He ordered each division chief to devote their efforts to not only arresting and dismantling the Kodo-kai but to cracking down on all front companies of the go organization and any cooperative entities (共生者・kyoseisha). The goal is to drive the group into extinction by cutting off their funding and distancing them from other revenue sources. It is rare for the NPA to not only target one organized crime group for demolition but also to direct the police to aggressively crackdown on corporations and small companies associated with the group.

One of the primary reasons the NPA has been cracking down on the Kodo-kai since September 30th of 2009 is that the group is openly hostile to the police, even threatening officers and that the faction has made huge incursions into the financial and business world, shaking the foundations of the Japanese economy and public faith in the stock market. In 2007, a former Kodo-kai member, backed by the organization, even took control of a major social networking site with a membership of over a million followers, creating a minor panic about internet security and organized crime attempts to corner personal information for criminal purposes.

The symbol of the much feared Yamaguchi-gumi Kodo-kai, the ruling faction of Japan’s largest organized crime group.

Chief Ando opened the meeting by stating, “Japanese society is coming together to get rid of organized crime. This is a one in a thousand chance to weaken the Kodo-kai and thus the Yamaguchi-gumi, and destroy their organization.”

Read the original article about the arrest here. Note: Assistant editor, Jake Adelstein, also contributed to this article.

3 thoughts on “In Tokyo, Komatsu-gumi head arrested for extortion; Yamaguchi Kodo-kai Nearing Decimation”
  1. anyone else think since all the older big-shot yakuza are going down that the younger generation will take over and be 10x’s more violent and less moralistic? cause from what i understand the yakuza of today and the past don’t really bother the average joe unless you seek them out or cross them in some way.

    1. the older generation has allowed more violence and a breakdown of morals and that’s increased the police crackdown. Especially one faction of the Yamaguchi-gumi. That they don’t bother the average joe might have been true thirty years ago. The third generation leader of the Yamaguchi-gumi himself in his memoirs wrote something along the lines that “it would be a sad thing for Japan if the yakuza don’t eventually fade away.”
      the newer generation of crime groups don’t meet the criteria for “designated crime groups” and thus are harder to police since they don’t fall under that anti-organized crime law statutes.

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