There was news this week of four prefectures working on additional legislative measures to stop organized crime organizations from working their way into the operations and offices of legitimate businesses.
In Ehime, it was reported by the Mainichi that on Dec. 15 the prefectural government started a project team for the creation of a prefecture ordinance to eliminate organized crime (県暴力団排除条例総合対策プロジェクト). The ordinance will reportedly be based on Fukuoka Prefecture’s anti-organized crime ordinance (to be put into effect next March), but contain special regulations aimed at eliminating yakuza groups from interfering with local festivals and fireworks events. The team, which is composed of police investigators from the anti-organized crime division, say they will have a proposal for the ordinance presented at the prefectural assembly meeting next February.
In nearby Hiroshima, a small town called Sera unanimously approves an ordinance (町暴力団事務所等の開設の防止に関する条例) Dec. 14 that protects local property who have dealt with dirty purchasers or leasers, allowing a contract to be dissolved or for property to be repurchased if it’s found that the property is being used as an office for yakuza business. It is the duty of real estate agents to do the appropriate due diligence to ensure they’re not dealing with a crime group, but if a property is found to be occupied by a group through no fault of the owner, police will cooperate in removing the renter. The Asahi reports that the ordinance, which goes into effect Jan. 1, is the first of its kind in the prefecture, and similar to one passed in Saga Prefecture earlier this year.
And most recently, on Dec. 17 the Nagasaki prefectural assembly chewed on an ordinance proposed by police to help prevent organized crime groups from opening offices in the area (県暴力団事務所等の排除に関する条例). According to the Asahi, the ordinance follows a case where a local Yakuza group, the Kyushu Seido-kai, was kicked out of a building in Sasebo City after locals complained to law enforcement officials in July. Also similar to the ordinance in effect in Saga, the Nagasaki ordinance differs in that due diligence is not only the obligation of the real estate agent, but also any company that does construction or renovation work on the property. The government aims to have the bill come into effect next spring.