The Tokyo Reporter

Yakuza times: A Yamaguchi-gumi newspaper

The emblem of the Yamaguchi-gumi
TOKYO (TR) – Investigators with the Hyogo Prefectural Police revealed that the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group earlier this month issued an official newspaper in an effort to improve communication within the gang, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 9).

The eight-page Yamaguchi-gumi Shinpo (July 1) was made available to members nationwide on Friday. The tabloid’s aim is communicate goals and policies from top boss Shinobu Tsukasa, who wrote a preface on the paper’s first page, to the gang’s approximately 27,700 members.

Other pages include an essay by number-two boss Kiyoshi Takayama and a diary entry about a fishing excursion. Smaller sections cover comic haiku, the board game Go, and various other amusements.

Between 1965 and 1975, the gang also published a paper, the Yamaguchi-gumi Jiho.

In recent years, legislation has been enacted to restrict the activities of organized crime. As a result, gang membership all across Japan has suffered a substantial drop.

“Tighter restrictions on bank accounts and real estate transactions may be impacting their business dealings,” a police investigator tells the Mainichi Shimbun (July 10).

The Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest gang, saw its ranks decline by 3,300 members between 2011 and 2012, according to the National Police Agency. The release of the tabloid may be an effort to combat the decrease, the Sankei said.

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