• Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

Japan Subculture Research Center

A guide to the Japanese underworld, Japanese pop-culture, yakuza and everything dark under the sun.

Shukan Bunshun to release audio of Yamatani interview

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Weekly Magazine Shukan Bunshun first reported Eriko Yamatani’s ties to members of the Zaitokukai last month. When a reporter with the magazine questioned Yamatani about her ties to the Zaitokukai, Yamatani responded, “What is Zaitokukai? How do you write the characters for it?” When shown a group picture she took with former members of Zaitokukai, which included Shigeo Masuki, who claims that he has known Yamatani for more then a decade, Yamatani stated that she did not know the people in the picture.

The Zaitokukai has close ties with Nihon Seinensha, a right-wing group that is closely connected to the Sumiyoshi-kai.  According to police sources, leaders of the Zaitokukai have in the past openly associated with members of Japan’s major crime families and continue to do so. Moreover, some of the former Zaitokukai members pictured with Yamatani, including Masuki, have a crime record. This is problematic, because Yamatani is the minister in charge of the police force in Japan.

At a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on September 25th, Yamatani stated, “In regard to my exchange with the weekly magazines, that is not true,” a lie that Shukan Bunshun intends to reveal in tomorrow’s issue, which the Japan Subculture Research Center has obtained an exclusive copy of before it hits stands tomorrow morning.

Bunshun, which decided to question Yamatani again about why she said that the weekly magazine’s report was false at FCCJ, reported that Yamatani said that the part of the report that was false is Masuki’s claim that they have known each other for over 20 years.

That argument, Bunshun points out, falls short because at the FCCJ, Yamatani had also stated (and Jake Adelstein and I have attended the press conference and can confirm that she said this), “I did not say that I did not know (Zaitokukai).”

Bunshun challenges Yamatani to show proof that this statement is true. They have proof of their own: the audio recording of their interview with her when they first questioned her about her knowledge of Zaitokukai. Bunshun will upload this to their website at 5 A.M. Japan time and have a Japanese proverb to pass on to her:

“Yamatani, he who lies will steal. (山谷国家公安委員長、嘘つきは泥棒の始まりですよ。)”


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