TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday issued arrest warrants for approximately 15 suspects, including former members of the boszoku motorcycle gang Kanto Rengo, over the beating death of 31-year-old restaurant manager Ryosuke Fujimoto in September, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 6).
The suspects are charged with illegal assembly with weapons over the incident that took place at club Flower in the Roppongi entertainment area.
In the early morning hours of September 2, a group of males in ski masks and armed with metal bats arrived at the club and assaulted Fujimoto, who was drinking in the club’s VIP room with a party of five or six persons. The victim suffered substantial head injuries and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died an hour and 20 minutes later.
Footage released by police shows nine men, many in dark jackets and pants, moving toward Flower at 3:40 a.m. The suspects are seen fleeing the scene in two vans at 3:45 a.m.
Following the incident, police said that targets of the investigation were believed to have fled Japan for Shanghai, Beijing, and Hawaii.
Widespread speculation in the Japanese press has linked former members of Kanto Rengo to the attack.
The Kanto Rengo group broke up about 15 years ago but their members still operate in various forms. One former leader, Taichi Ishimoto, was arrested in September for fraud. The 30-year-old was also a participant in a drunken brawl involving kabuki star Ichikawa Ebizo in 2010.