The Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi broke away from the Yamaguchi-gumi in August of last year, sparking fears of a repeat of the bloodshed that accompanied a similar split in 1984 in Japan’s biggest crime organisation, known as yakuza.
Those clashes left 25 dead, including a police officer, and 70 more injured in a series of incidents. The injured included passersby caught up in the violence.
Earlier this year there were reports that the price of an illegal handgun had risen sharply, prompting the National Police Agency to warn that the rival gangs were in a “state of all-out war.”
Fears rose on May 31, when Tadashi Takagi, a senior member of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi was shot dead in the parking lot of the apartment where he lived with his family in the city of Okayama, central Japan.
Another member of the gang, named as 64-year-old Tatsuo Saiki, was shot dead in Nagoya on July 15, while there have been numerous reports of lorries being rammed into offices operated by the rival groups.
Police have managed to avoid the clashes escalating, however, by using the fine print in new laws designed to fight organised crime, the Asahi newspaper reported. These include banning gatherings of five people or more or visiting offices that belong to gangs.
The crackdown has permitted the police to detain 623 members of the Yamaguchi-gumi and further 353 members of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi.
Japanese police have arrested 976 members of yakuza criminal gangs since early March, often over minor infractions, to head off a brewing “all-out war” between Japan’s largest crime syndicate and a splinter faction. (telegraph.co.uk)
An investigation into a payment made during Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics has found no evidence of bribery. (BBC)
The Japanese government gave an unusually effusive welcome to visiting Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday, viewing the 31-year-old as a key person in the current Saudi administration. (Jiji Press)
Hiroshi Sudo takes a pair of pliers, clamps them around a dog’s tooth and twists. The tooth comes free in a spray of bloody spittle. The dog snarls, but Sudo has tied a washcloth around his snout so he can’t bite. (newsweek.com)
The number of deaths in bicycle accidents fell 14.7% in one year after a revised road traffic law took effect in June 2015 improving safety measures, the National Police Agency said Thursday. (Japan Today)
The Japanese government conducted a comprehensive disaster drill on Thursday to better prepare for a powerful earthquake that is believed to occur at the Nankai Trough off the country’s central to southwestern Pacific coast in the future. (Jiji Press)
Japan’s hopes of exacting revenge on the United Arab Emirates for last year’s Asian Cup quarterfinal loss were shattered on Thursday as Vahid Halilhodzic’s men crashed to a 2-1 defeat in their Group B opener in the final round of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. (Kyodo)
Police in Chiba have launched an investigation into several cases of potential animal abuse following reports of the discovery of abused cats in a park. (Japan Today)
Japan and the United States on Thursday agreed to transfer to Guam some drills using the MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft deployed at the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma air station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture. (Jiji Press)