If you’ve read Tokyo Vice, you’ll know that members of the Yamaguchi-gumi Goto-gumi were long suspected of killing a real estate consultant, Kazuoki Nozaki, in a dispute over a building in Shibuya ward. On December 3rd, The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Organized Crime Control Division Four arrested former Goto-gumi member Nobuyuki Yamamoto (27 years) on charges of murder. According to police sources and reports, Nozaki represented a real estate company that was in a legal dispute over the ownership of the Shinjuku Building with a Goto-gumi front company. Nozaki was in charge of the legal battle over ownership of the building. The police allege that ex-gang member Yamamoto stabbed Nozaki to death on the streets of Minato-ku Kita Aoyama in March of 2006.
The investigation has taken over four years and the TMPD believes that the killing was sanctioned at the top level of the Goto-gumi (now a defacto part of the Kodokai) and are continuing the investigation. Goto Tadamasa, the former leader of the group, now Buddhist priest, was found guilty of fraudulent activity pertaining to the building’s real estate deeds this year and given a suspended sentence.
For some footage of the arrest and more information see the Mainichi Shinbun article (in Japanese). Goto Tadamasa was one of the most infamous crime bosses in Japan. His organization attacked film director Itami Juzo, in 1992 after the release of the film Minbo (the Gentle Japanese Art of Extortion) and Goto himself managed to get a liver transplant at UCLA for himself and three other yakuza associates under dubious circumstances in the period between 2001-2004.