OSAKA (TR) – The Osaka High Court on Wednesday denied an appeal by a high-ranking member of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group who had been found guilty of blackmail last year, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Feb. 19).
Presiding judge Yasuhiro Morioka utilized testimony of upper members of the gang to rule that number-two boss Kiyoshi Takayama, 66, was complicit in the extortion of a construction industry employee for 40 million yen during three meetings at a hotel in Kyoto in 2005 and 2006.
Subordinate gang members were utilized to perform a specific type of extortion known as mikajimeryo, or the collection of protection money.
Last March, the Kyoto District Court handed down a prison sentence of six years to Takayama.
In the appeal, fellow gang members stated that Takayama, who is the chairman of the Kodo-kai, a secondary organization of the Yamaguchi-gumi, had requested that they “work together” during a gathering at a restaurant in Kyoto in October of 2005. The blackmail plot was carried out thereafter.
The Yamaguchi-gumi is Japan’s largest gang. Based in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, the group has roughly 27,700 members, according to report by the National Police Agency from the end of 2012.