The resignation of television personality Shinsuke Shimada over the summer put the spotlight on connections between gangsters and the entertainment world, but, warns reports Shukan Post (Nov. 11), the broadcasting stations themselves should be equally nervous about associating with organized crime.
Nationwide legislation passed in October prohibits ordinary citizens from assisting the business activities of criminal organizations, yet television stations, the article says, can be structured whereby certain activities involve yakuza connections.
“I have experience in helping sell tickets to events hosted by TV stations,” says a gang member involved in show business. “A TV station producer will come to an event promoter because he knows on the surface things look clean, but the reality is a connection to the mob. A request will be made to sell half the tickets to an event. That will happen, but with fifty percent of the sales price kept as commission.”
Both benefit from this arrangement, and the relations only get deeper from there. Gangsters connected to entertainment production companies will utilize their resources to ensure that the performers within the company’s talent pool rise to the top to receive a take of the large fees they are able to charge for dinner shows and banquets.
“Entertainment production companies are basically gangster front companies,” says a former television station manager. “They’ll engage in the wining and dining of TV station producers, and offer gambling on the golf course and mahjong, in which the producers will be intentionally allowed to win big. Then they might be taken to high-end hostess clubs, operated by gangsters affiliated with the entertainment production company, in Ginza and Roppongi at no charge. The companies will also arrange parties with some hot, young female actresses. Invitations to soaplands also occur.”
As a result, the TV station producers will be influenced regarding the casting and structuring of upcoming programs. But there is yet a potentially darker side, the magazine warns.
“TV employees at big stations frequent ‘members only’ clubs in Nishi Azabu that are managed by close associates of gangsters,” says a police investigator. “The network being built up within this community is a concern.” (K.N.)
Source: “Boryokudan kankei no geino puro TV man josei tarento tono enkai settai kikaku,” Shukan Post (Nov. 11)
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