TOKYO (TR) – Fukuoka Prefectural Police announced on Thursday the banning of organized crime groups from certain business districts in the prefecture beginning next year, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 21).
Gang groups will be banned from entering “snack” hostess clubs and izakaya restaurants in Chuo and Hakata wards of Fukuoka City and Kokurakita and Yahatanishi wards in Kitakyushu City and all throughout the cities of Iizuka, Kurume, and Omuta.
In what is considered a nationwide first, the move is intended to prevent yakuza groups from carrying out extortion activities — such as mikajimeryo, or the collection of protection money on the third day of the month.
The construction industry in Fukuoka is also a target. Yakuza members will not be allowed to visit project sites or the homes of employees, place phone calls or send emails or faxes to construction offices, make requests for meetings with companies, and follow around construction personnel.
Violators will be ordered to cease their activities, and those who do not will be arrested. Penal regulations are now being drawn up.
Last summer, a series of attacks and threats believed to have been carried out by organized crime groups befell citizens in the Kokurakita nightlife area. The incidents followed the posting of an anti-gang emblem outside some restaurants and bars. The campaign, which began on August 1, was intended to thwart the activities of criminal organizations in the area.
This latest action will be in effect regardless of whether the anti-gang emblem is posted outside a particular establishment.