Xytan Whitcombe wrote:The truth is that Japan is not equipped to handle organized crime just as its Defense Forces are not equipped to go to war. They don't have a legal system capable of prosecuting Mafia-esque groups. They cannot provide adequate protection to witnesses. The police also ultimately lack the necessary funding to successfully root out crime.
That's an aspect I am especially interested in. In fact, I noticed that the Yakuza organizations aren't illegal by themselves and there are no laws like RICO in America or "mafia association" in Italy to prosecute them as a criminal organization. I mean, they can have offices with names of their syndicates written above their doors without needing to hide it. In USA, for example, could you imagine a company with "Gambino crime family" or "Sinaloa cartel embassy" written on the door?
But lately, I read there have been more crack-downs on the Yakuza, at least as far as the existing laws allow. One particular thing I noticed that sounds rather funny for me as a Detective Conan fan: in the last couple of years, the police are targeting a group called Kudo-kai (the names of the groups are formed from the original founder's surname and the word "kai" or "gumi"). So, I wonder if the founder of the Kudo-Kai was Kudo Shinichi, alias Edogawa Conan?
Jokes apart, the current boss is Nomura Satoru and the original founder seems to be Kudo Genji (it's written on wikipedia at least, although it's often unreliable, have to check in books about the subject). The books about the Yakuza available in English aren't many though, and none of the ones written by Japanese authors seem to have been translated. However, from what I read, the only Yakuza boss to suffer the maximum penalty, a death sentence, for murder, was one Yano Osamu, boss of the Yano Mutsumi-kai, a group that separated itself from the larger syndicate named Sumiyoshi-kai. Yano sent hitmen to kill some rivals in a bar in 2003 and didn't even order them to try not to hit bystanders, 3 random people who didn't have anything to do with the gang war were gunned down. Strange though, there are news from 2016, about Yano confessing to another murder, so he is still alive, even though sentenced to death in 2007....Do they have appeals lasting decades, like in USA and Italy?
One another infamous Yakuza character is Goto Tadamasa, former head of the Goto-gumi group. I read he was expelled from the organization and became a buddhist priest (really, I can't imagine what would a self-control-lacking thug like him do among people of a peaceful religion)? I read he had the film director Juzo Itami thrown from the roof of his house for making a film which showed the yakuza as violent thugs (which they are, especially ones like Goto) and showed how people can resist extortion. It was a nice film, named "Minbo no Onna", I watched it, but to be honest I would have never expected for it to cause such a reaction, after all it's not like it exposed the whole crime system of Japan or threatened powerful people with revelations....Goto must be really a psycho if this movie was enough for him to torment Itami for years before forcing him to jump from the roof at gun point. He threatened the American journalist Jake Adelstein too, because he wrote about Goto fraudelently getting an expensive surgery in the USA without waiting his turn, in exchange for a promise to tell the FBI important information about the yakuza, yet he didn't provide anything relevant and just made everybody look like fools, while normal people have to wait their turns for a long time for such surgeries. I think I read a yakuza informant later told Adelstein how did they kill Juzo Itami at Goto's orders, while officially it is still listed as "suicide"....
Sorry for the very long post, it's just the Yakuza subject was brought up and I am interested in the topic of fighting against organized crime, although I don't know very much about the situation in Japan, only something from articles that get translated for international newspapers.