KANAGAWA (TR) – Following a confession by gang boss previously convicted in an infamous slaying in Gunma Prefecture more than a decade ago, Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday began searching a mountainous area of Isehara City for the body of a man believed to have been murdered by the mobster in a separate case, reports TBS News (April 19).
At approximate 9:40 a.m., more than a dozen investigators began searching a wooded area for the body of a real estate executive, which is believed to have been dumped two decades ago.
Officers are working off a tip provided by Osamu Yano, a 67-year-old former head of the Yano Mutsumi-kai, a one time affiliate gang of the Sumiyoshi-kai.
Yano is currently on death row for a shooting incident that left four people dead in Maebashi City, Gunma on January 25, 2003.
On that day, two members of the Yano Mutsumi-kai, Kenichiro Yamada and Masato Kohinata, opened fire inside a “snack” bar, killing three people and wounding two others, including a boss of a rival gang. Once outside, the pair then shot the bodyguard of the rival boss to death.
Yano was sentenced to death for giving the orders for the shooting.
The shooting was a part of an ongoing turf war between the Sumiyoshi-kai and Inagawa-kai in which the rival boss was the target. The incident was payback for the murder of two Sumiyoshi-kai members at a funeral home in Tokyo two years before.
In the Kanagawa case, Yano has admitted to murdering the real estate executive in 1996 over a dispute the gang had with him over a redevelopment project near Isehara Station.
Depending on the progression of the investigation, police may apply murder charges to Yano.