Three Yamaguchi-gumi members, Hirokazu Higaki (35), Kazunori Iwamoto (38), and Keisuke Suga (37), were taken into custody on October 21 by officers within the anti-organized crime division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police for demanding protection money. Also apprehended was 46-year-old office worker Toshio Mizuguchi.
“No such threats were made,” Higaki is quoted by police.
According to officers involved in the investigation, the four individuals were initially approached by an acquaintance of Mizuguchi regarding the prospects of him paying 50,000 yen monthly in mikajimeryo fees (protection money collected on the third day of the month) to be able to tout for clubs in the streets of the red-light district of Kabukicho.
However, in August, at a family restaurant in Nakano Ward, the four met with the 30-year-old acquaintance and he announced that he was no longer interested in carrying out the work. Mizuguchi and the acquaintance began verbally fighting, and extortion allegations were made by the acquaintance.